Donnie Nietes to defend his belt

It has already been over five months since the momentous night when Donnie Nietes captured his second division world title after beating Ramon Garcia in his home province of Negros Occidental.

After winning the World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight crown with a unanimous decision over Garcia at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum in Bacolod City on Oct. 8 of last year, the 29-year-old janitor-turned-boxer hasn’t seen any more action.

However, the long wait is finally over as Nietes is having his first title defense of the WBO light flyweight title in May, in a Manila card that would include either ALA
Gym stars Milan Melindo or Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista.

“We are working on who his opponent would be but we still need the approval of the WBO,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told Sun.Star Cebu. “Donnie’s opponent should be at the top 15.”

ALA Promotions currently has three venues to choose–Ynares Sports Arena, Cuneta Astrodome, and Resorts World.

Despite the long layoff, Aldeguer believes that Nietes neither has ring rust nor needs a tune-up fight, because he has been working rigorously in the gym during his ring hiatus.

“A tune-up fight could be sometimes risky and cause an injury so we are going through with the title defense in May. Donnie is a disciplined fighter who always keeps himself in shape so there should be no problem,” said the Cebuano promoter.

Aldeguer said that the choice between Melindo and Bautista in the co-main event depends on ALA Promotions’ negotiations with former world title challenger Genaro “Poblanito” Garcia.

“It would be Boom-Boom if we get to finalize the negotiations for Garcia to fight him.

If not, then Milan will be in the undercard,” he said.

Bautista still has a score to settle with Garcia after a different Genaro Garcia was sent to the Philippines in the 25-year-old Boholano’s return to Bohol this month.

Instead of the Genaro Garcia who figured in three world title fights, the one sent here was a patsy with a 10-11 record and was knocked out by Bautista in the second round.