World boxing champion Donnie Nietes arrives in Bacolod City today for the final preparations for his scheduled April 9 fight against Mexican Armando Vasquez at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum.
The duel at the USLS, is the main event for the Pinoy Pride 5: Battle of Champions co-presented by Nietes’ promoter, the Cebu-based ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN Sports.
It will the first time for Nietes to fight in 108 pounds or the light flyweight division, as he gets ready to conquer another world title after his reign as WBO minimum weight champion for more than three years.
In previous interviews, Nietes said he is ready to move up from 105 pounds to 108 and a successful battle against Vasquez will make him qualified to face the winner in the April 30 bout between Columbian Jesus Gelez and WBO interim light flyweight champion Ramon Garcia, a Mexican.
Nietes said it has always been his dream to fight in front of his fellow Negrosanons. The last time he fought in Negros was in Victorias City, before he became a world champion.
Michael Aldeguer of the ALA Promotions said the April 9 fight of Nietes will be their gauge on the Negrense champ’s popularity.
He said that a positive response on next week’s duel will make it easier for them to bring Nietes’ first official fight for the light flyweight crown in July to Bacolod.
Aldeguer also said that the quiet and unassuming fighter from Negros has been training hard for the battle against Vasquez and he is in good condition.
Nietes will be coming in from Cebu City where he is based now and will be joined by fellow ALA Promotions fighters WBO Youth Junior Welterweight Champion and 19 year old phenom Jason Pagara and PABA Bantamweight Super Champ Roli Gasca, who likewise will be featured during the PINOY PRIDE 5 event.
Besides the Mexican Vasquez, three other foreign pugilists will be featured, African Deo Njiku who will be challenging for Pagaras WBO Youth title, James Mokoginto of Indonesia to brawl for Lorenzo Villanueva's WBO Oriental belt and as an added attraction, PABA Super Champ Roli Gasca will go up against Ngaotawang Sithsaithong of Thailand.*NAB
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