Elwin “La Pulga” Soto (15-1, 11 KOs) will make the first defense of his WBO Jr. Flyweight World Title against Edward “The Heneral Fighting” Heno (14-0-5, 5 KOs) of Paranaque City, Philippines in a 12-round main event of the Oct. 24 edition Golden Boy DAZN Thursday Night Fights at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif. The fights will be streamed live on Facebook Watch via the Golden Boy Fight Night Page beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT. The series will be available on regional sports network around the nation.

Soto is a 22-year-old boxer who was virtually unknown until his upset victory over Angel Acosta to become a world champion. Though it was a controversial win, the native of Mexicali, Mexico demonstrated his power and explosiveness against one of the best fighters in his division. Now, Soto is preparing to make the first defense of his world title against a tough, undefeated challenger.

“This fight will be just like my last one,” said Elwin Soto. “I will train to the best of my abilities because I never underestimate anyone. I want to work hard to be the best in my division.”

Heno is a 26-year-old contender who began his career with a lackluster record of zero wins and three draws. Then, after over a year of inactivity, Heno returned to develop a winning record that includes several wins in his native country of the Philippines as well as victories in Japan. Heno is grateful for the opportunity as he completely turned his career into a world title opportunity.

“I have worked my whole life for this opportunity to get a world title shot,” said Edward Heno. “My life changed from the moment I started working with my manager Marty Elorde and signed with Senator Manny Pacquiao of MP Promotions, which headed by Sean Gibbons. And now I have a chance to fight world champion Elwin Soto. My life could got get any better. Mexico vs. Philippines is the greatest rivalry in boxing. I look forward to Oct. 24 and hearing my name being called as the new WBO champion of the world.”

Additionally, former heavyweight world champion Tim Witherspoon will be the special VIP Guest for this world championship event. Witherspoon will be in attendance to meet fans, sign autographs and take pictures inside the Fantasy Springs Special Events Center. The meet-and-greet is open to the public with the purchase of a ticket to the event.

In the co-main event, former WBO World Champion Angel “Tito” Acosta (20-2, 20 KOs) of San Juan, Puerto Rico will return in a 10-round flyweight fight.


By Joe Koizumi
Photos: Sumio Yamada

Unbeaten WBO junior flyweight champ Kosei Tanaka (9-0, 5 KOs), 107.75, Japan, impressively kept his belt as he dropped previously unblemished KO artist, mandatory challenger Angel Acosta (16-1, 16 KOs), 108, Puerto Rico, in the fifth session, controlled the action with better precision and pounded out a unanimous decision (117-110 twice, 116-111) over twelve hard-fought rounds on Saturday in Nagoya, Japan.

It’s a very hot non-stop punching fight by the hard-hitting youngsters. (More to come)

tanaka-acosta-sumio03.jpg-nggid0559065-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio01.jpg-nggid0559063-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio02.jpg-nggid0559064-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010tanaka-acosta-sumio16.jpg-nggid0559049-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio19.jpg-nggid0559043-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio20.jpg-nggid0559044-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio15.jpg-nggid0559048-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio18.jpg-nggid0559051-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio16.jpg-nggid0559049-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio17.jpg-nggid0559050-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio12.jpg-nggid0559053-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio13.jpg-nggid0559054-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio14.jpg-nggid0559055-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio08.jpg-nggid0559056-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio09.jpg-nggid0559057-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio04.jpg-nggid0559059-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio05.jpg-nggid0559060-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio06.jpg-nggid0559061-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio07.jpg-nggid0559062-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio10.jpg-nggid0559058-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio21.jpg-nggid0559045-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio22.jpg-nggid0559046-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010 tanaka-acosta-sumio23.jpg-nggid0559047-ngg0dyn-180x120x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010



acosta-uutoni Photo: Hector Santos Guia/ Miguel Cotto Promotions, LLC

In a WBO jr flyweight world title eliminator, unbeaten rising star Angel “Tito” Acosta (16-0, 16 KOs) scored a tenth round TKO over WBO #1 ranked Jafet “The Lion” Uutoni (11-1, 4 KOs) on Saturday night at the Coliseo Roger Mendoza in promoter Miguel Cotto’s hometown of Caguas, Puerto Rico. The bout was waved off at 1:01 of round ten. Acosta becomes the mandatory challenger and will now challenge WBO 108lb world champion Kosei Tanaka within the next 90 days.

“I felt great tonight, I am very happy with my performance. Was a really tough fight and I like the way I went thru 10 rounds,” said Acosta. “He was really tough, I never expect him to be like that, he caught me with some good shots but didn’t hurt me.”



FullSizeRender Donnie Nietes. Photo by Roy Luarca/INQUIRER –

IT WAS no ordinary boxing bout Donnie Nietes won in retaining his WBO junior flyweight crown in Cebu City on Saturday.

When he got tagged with a hard shot to the head in the 10th round, Nietes tarried and took a deep breath. He appeared on the verge of exhaustion.

How he moved back into the fray, to gamble on an injured hand in the 11th before dominating the 12th round, is the story of a quiet and unassuming Filipino champion gallantly retaining the Philippines’ lone remaining world boxing crown.

Michael Aldeguer, top man at ALA Promotions, said on the eve of the championship bout that expectations were bound to be surpassed, going by the quality of the competition.

After the tight tactical battle, which saw leads shifting sharply, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that they ended up serving what could qualify as a superfight.

The bout could have gone either way until Nietes, who injured his right hand in the sixth round, put up a masterful display of sharpness, courage and composure.

* * *

Of course, the fight did not bring with it monumental purses. That could be a prerequisite for a bout that comes to be called a candidate superbout.

It was, however, rich in great exchanges, full of suspense, a real thriller.

What it lacked in dollar decimals, it more than made up in memorable combat.

* * *

Losing mandatory challenger Francisco Rodriguez, his nose busted and bleeding, predictably protested and cried he should have gotten the decision.

Filipino cycling legend Jesus Garcia Jr., a Nietes die-hard, believed a rematch could prove similarly thrilling.

He, however, laughed off the scores of the second and third judges who gave Nietes final leads of 10 and eight points,  thereby making it appear there was a mismatch. Garcia claimed the 115-113 score submitted by the first judge was apt.

* * *

For the record, the taller, ever-charging Rodriguez gave Nietes some tough time with his swarming offensive.

It was just too bad that, unlike Nietes, he lacked necessary defensive skills.

By the way, there was WBO president Paco Valcarcel presiding gleefully over the awarding of belts.

He sure was never remiss in claiming before the championship that Nietes, who always comes out to fight, is a future Hall-of-Famer.


f.rodriguez.150708.02.330w  By:  Rene Bonsubre, Jr. –

CEBU CITY- Mexican challenger Francisco “Chihuas” Rodriguez is back in Cebu and he did not mince words when asked about the defending champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes.
“I had a bad experience the first time I was here. But now I am back, better and well prepared. I plan to knock him (Nietes) out,” This was Rodriguez’s initial salvo during the press conference held Wednesday afternoon at the Rajah Park Hotel. Rodriguez (17-2-1,11KO’s) referred to his fight last November when he engaged Jomar Fajardo to a split draw at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel. He had to face Fajardo two months later in Mexico and handily won a unanimous decision.

“I was not one hundred percent the first time I was here, What happened, happened. The second fight I was very prepared,” Rodriguez emphasized. “To be a champion, you have to go to the house of the champion.”

“Nietes can say what he wants, I will say what I want,” this was Rodriguez’s response to the champion’s statement that he did not believe that the Mexican suffered an ankle injury in training and that he will knock out Rodriguez.

“We will see on Saturday,” Rodriguez speaking through interpreter Mon Escano, talked about his dream of challenging the longest reigning Filipino world titlist,“I have waited for more than a year to fight Nietes. I was not ranked very high back then.”

When asked for his fight plan, he replied “A better question would be – How Nietes will protect himself? I will come and attack him!”

Trainer Jose Antonio Hernandez said that Nietes is very good, very strong but he is already 33 years old, which they cite as a weakness.

Rodriguez has already acclimatized, having been in the country for more than a week and training at the Elorde gym in Manila.

Nietes (35W-1L-4D,21KO’s) will be defending his WBO world junior flyweight and Ring magazine titles against the former unified WBO/IBF minimumweight champ this Saturday July 11 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino in the main event of PINOY PRIDE 31.

Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo (10-0,8KO’s) will be gunning for the IBF Youth featherweight title in the supporting main event against Rafael Reyes (16-4,12KO’s) of Mexico.

Reyes said that he has seen films of Magsayo, who he describes as a complicated fighter. The Mexican said he came here to win and we’ll see once the fight progresses. His trainer Edmundo Gaytan said they are also eyeing Albert Pagara, who they want to face if they beat Magsayo.

A special attraction on PINOY PRIDE 31 will be the debut of multi-awarded amateur Kevin Jake Cataraja, who will be fighting a foreigner in his first professional outing. Cataraja will be pitted against Indonesian Ardi Tefa (6-4,4KO’s) in a six rounder.




Credit:  Photo by Archie Alipalo –

By Ronnie Nathanielsz –

There’s been another change in the opponent of WBO light flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes, the longest reigning Filipino world champion who is scheduled to defend his title at the classy Mall of Asia Arena on March 28 in a blockbuster card that will also feature the comeback fight of five division champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire.

While Nietes was preparing to defend his title against Mexico’s Luis Ceja, the WBO Championship Committee chairman Luis Batista Salas on January 29 informed ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer and Zanfer Promotions Fernando Beltran that Nietes had to face mandatory challenger Francisco Rodriguez Jr also of Mexico.

The WBO official notified both parties that they were given 30 days to negotiate an agreement and if they failed to do so a Purse Bid would be called within ten days.

Aldeguer consulted Nietes and his team and said they were willing to face Rodriguez although he suggested that Nietes be allowed to fight Ceja as originally planned on March 28 and face Rodriguez in July.

On Monday, Aldeguer learned that Rodriguez “wasn’t ready to fight on March 28” and that Nietes will now defend his title against Gilberto Parra who is ranked No. 13 and Nietes will fight Rodriguez in a mandatory title defense on July 4.

Aldeguer informed the Manila Standard/Viva Sports “we have not signed the contract as yet but hopefully we should get it done by tomorrow (Wednesday).”

The merry-go-round once again highlights the difficulty Filipino promoters have in dealing with Zanfer while it also raises the question as to why the WBO insisted on a mandatory title defense when the challenger was not ready.

Parra has an impressive record of 17 knockouts in 19 wins with one of his losses suffered at the hands of Martin Tecuapetla who scored a lopsided ten round decision on November 2, 2013.

Tecuaptela is the same fighter who dropped a ten round majority decision against Milan Melindo in a clash for the WBO International title on May 10, 2014.

In his last fight on February 14 this year, Parra was cut on his left eye in the 2nd round of a scheduled ten round bout against Maximino Flores with the bout declared a “no contest.”



MANILA, Philippines – RING and WBO  junior flyweight champion Donnie Nietes will defend his titles against Luis Ceja on March 28 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines, Nietes’ promoter told RingTV.com.

Nietes (34-1-4, 20 knockouts) of Bacolod City, Philippines, has made six defenses of the WBO belt since moving up in weight in 2011, and knocked out Moises Fuentes in May of 2014 to gain lineal recognition.

Ceja (26-5-3, 21 knockouts) of Tlalnepantla, Mexico, has won two straight after a period between 2012 and 2014 where he lost four of his six bouts. Despite Ceja’s inconsistencies, Nietes’ promoter Michael Aldegeur of ALA Boxing feels the 24-year-old is a worthy challenger for the 32-year-old champion.

“We got the contract yesterday (Saturday) so that’s confirmed already,” said Aldegeur. “We’ve heard a lot about [Ceja], he can punch. I think it’s something that we feel would be a good fight for Donnie. He’s a Mexican and a lot of people want to watch a Mexican and a Filipino fighting.”

The bout would be a final voluntary defense before Nietes faces former WBO strawweight titleholder Francisco Rodriguez Jr. in a mandatory defense. Rodriguez (17-2-1, 11 KOs) avenged an earlier draw with Filipino boxer Jomar Fajardo over the weekend, dropping him once en route to a unanimous decision.

Aldegeur says a fight between Nietes and Rodriguez could take place in June, with negotiations likely to begin this coming week.

Also appearing on the card will be former four-division champion Nonito Donaire, who will be returning to the ring for the first time since his knockout loss to Nicholas Walters. Aldegeur says “we have some names coming up” but no opponent has been settled upon.

The fight will be Donaire’s first in his country of birth since 2009, when he knocked out Raul Martinez in four rounds.



By:  Joaquin Henson –

MANILA, Philippines – WBO lightflyweight champion Donnie (Ahas) Nietes of Murcia, Negros Occidental, will battle mandatory challenger Moises Fuentes in Mexico late this year, his manager Michael Aldeguer confirmed recently, but is set to make a voluntary defense earlier against an opponent still to be named.

Aldeguer said he has come to terms with Zanfer, the Mexican outfit that promotes Fuentes, to stage the rematch in Mexico in November or December. Last March, Nietes and Fuentes fought to a majority 12-round draw at the Waterfront Hotel Pacific Ballroom in Lahug. The outcome was disputed by both camps. Nietes’ manager Marco Antonio Barrera said in his view, Fuentes won by a margin of four rounds. But ALA Boxing chairman Tony Aldeguer disagreed, asserting that Nietes threw the clearer and harder punches in a close fight.

When Fuentes met Nietes, he still held the WBO minimumweight championship. The Mexican has since relinquished the throne and is now the No. 1 contender in the 108-pound division. Filipino Merlito Sabillo, who also belongs to the ALA stable, has succeeded Fuentes as WBO 105-pound titleholder.

For a while, it appeared that Nietes would not agree to a rematch particularly as Fuentes demanded as a condition that no Filipino judge would be assigned by WBO president Paco Valcarcel. In the first encounter, Filipino judge Danrex Tapdasan scored it 115-113 for Nietes while San Diego’s Pat Russell and Las Vegas’ Adalaide Byrd saw it 114-all. Aldeguer said Fuentes had no business making the demand particularly as he never complained when a Mexican judge was on the panel in two of Nietes’ three title defenses as WBO minimumweight champion in Mexico.

It is not known if Valcarcel will assign a Filipino or a Mexican for the return engagement in Mexico. What is certain is the rematch will be in Fuentes’ home country. Aldeguer said since Fuentes is the No. 1 contender, he is entitled to challenge Nietes once more.

“Donnie sustained two big cuts above both eyes last March and he’s still not allowed to do any sparring,” said Michael Aldeguer. “But his next fight will be on Aug. 24 in Cebu. It will be a voluntary defense before the rematch with Fuentes.” Aldeguer said no opponent has been identified for the voluntary defense at the moment but he will be in the top 10 ratings.

Two of the top 10 contenders are Filipinos, No. 5 Joebert Alvarez and No. 8 Randy Petalcorin so they’re not in the list of Aldeguer’s candidates. Aside from Fuentes, there are two Mexicans in the top 10, No. 3 Javier Mendoza and No. 10 Odion Zaleta. Aldeguer will likely not tap a Mexican for the optional defense. That leaves No. 2 Kompayak Porporamook of Thailand, No. 4 Noknoi Sitthiprasert of Thailand, No. 5 Shin Ono of Japan, No. 7 Luis Alberto Rios of Panama and No. 9 Felix Alvarado of Nicaragua.

Kompayak, the former WBC lightflyweight champion, is now the interim WBA flyweight titlist so he’s moved up in weight. Rios was outpointed by IBF lightflyweight champion Johnriel Casimero last March so he wouldn’t be an attraction for Filipino fans. By process of elimination, the remaining candidates are Noknoi, Ono and Alvarado.

Noknoi, 26, has a 42-4 record, with 24 KOs. He has won his last 41 outings after losing four of his first five bouts since turning pro in 2003. The Thai lost a decision to Filipino Dondon Jimenea but has beaten all his other Filipino opponents, namely Edison Berwela (W6), Rey Loreto (W6), Donny Mabao (W10 twice), Dindo Nacionales (KO4), Joel Rafols (KO8), Carlo Besares (KO2), Jason Geda (KO3) and Tommy Terrado (W10).

Ono, 30, has never faced a Filipino. He could be seriously considered as Japan recently recognized the WBO. Ono’s record is 15-5-2, with 2 KOs. His last win by stoppage came in 2004 over Keijiro Mizuno and he has since figured in 14 bouts, losing thrice, two by knockout.

Alvarado, 24, is a dangerous customer with a 16-0 record, including 13 KOs. He’s coming off a first round knockout win over Carlos Melo last April. Melo went the distance in losing a 12-round decision to Filipino Milan Melindo in 2008. Six of Alvarado’s 13 wins by knockout came in the first round, indicating brutal punching power.




By Ronnie Nathanielsz –

WBO light flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes (31-1-4, 17 KO’s) won’t defend his title in a rematch with Moises Fuentes (16-1-1, 8 KO’s)  just yet.

ALA Promotions boxing patron Tony Aldeguer told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that Nietes is still recovering from the two bad cuts he suffered in his successful title defense with Fuentes and cannot even spar as yet making it impossible for him to face Fuentes in July as reported by boxrec.com.

Aldeguer said he wants Nietes to have a tune-up fight before facing Fuentes for the second time even as he emphasized “we are not afraid of Fuentes. The last two rounds in their fight showed us how to beat him handily.”

However, Aldeguer said that Milan Melindo is definitely fighting Juan Francisco Estrada who won the WBO/WBA flyweight title from Brian Viloria via a split decision at the Cotai Arena of the sprawling Venetian Resort Hotel which will once again be the venue for the title fight.

The undefeated Melindo has a record of 29-0 with 12 knockouts while Estrada’s record is 23-2 with 18 knockouts.

Melindo scored a rousing 4th round TKO of tough Tommy Seran of Indonesia on the undercard of Top Rank’s initial thrust into China, dropping the Indonesian  in rounds 1, 2 and 4 and impressing promoter Bob Arum with his performance.

Also scheduled to see action on the July 27 Macau card will be another accomplished ALA boxer, Genesis Servania, the reigning WBC Asia Pacific super bantamweight champion who won the title with a 7th round TKO over Indonesian veteran Angky Angkotta last March 2 at the Waterfront  Hotel and Casino in Cebu City.

Once again headlining the card will be China’s former two-time Olympic  flyweight gold medalist Zou Shiming who made his pro debut last April 6 in a four round but in which he scored a lopsided decision over Mexico’s Eleazar Valenzuela for which he earned a remarkable purse of $300,000.


According to handler Jorge Barrera Tapia, Moises Fuentes (16-1, 8KOs) of Mexico will move up in weight to challenge the junior flyweight champion of the World Boxing Organization Donnie Nietes (31-1-3, 17KOs) on February 2 in the Philippines. Fuentes has received valuable technical advice from former world champion Marco Antonio Barrera, brother of Jorge. Fuentes is the current WBO strawweight champion.

This fight has been approved by WBO, and it will be a duel of champions. This time, Moi is the official challenger, and if he wins then he has to decide which title he plans to keep.

“Although we know that commitment is difficult, we are confident that Moises will be crowned in Manila,” said Jorge Barrera.

Por Ernesto Castellanos


MOI Fuentes, campeón mundial paja de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB), llegó a un arreglo con ese organismo para disputar el campeonato mundial minimosca al monarca filipino Donnie Nietes, durante el mes de febrero en Las Filipinas.

Fuentes iba a ser desconocido por la OMB, debido a que había solicitado abandonar su corona para ir directo por el campeonato de la división inmediata superior. La Organización ya aprobó que se enfrente a Nietes, y además se decidió mantenerlo como monarca paja, para que pueda subir al ring como campeón en un duelo de monarcas, informó su manager Jorge Barrera Tapia.

Las negociaciones ante la OMB que dirige el abogado Paquito Valcárcel fueron llevadas por la empresa Zanfer que dirige Fernando Beltrán, el cual también negoció la pelea de campeonato en Las Filipinas.

Después del encuentro contra Nietes, Moisés Fuentes decidirá con qué titulo se queda, pero todo indica que si vence al tagalo se quedaría como monarca minimosca, ya que tiene algunos problemas para registrar el peso paja.