Following Successful Return, Will Donnie Nietes Finally Be Able to Finally Secure the Bag?
April 3 marked the return of four-division world champion Donnie Nietes. In Dubai, the 38-year-old defeated Pablo Carrillo by unanimous decision in a ten-round junior bantamweight contest. It was his first time in the ring in over two years.
Nietes was rusty early. But as the rounds went on, he began to display the skills and style that made him one of the best lower-weight fighters for over the last decade. After the win, the former champ talked about his comeback performance to local reporters.
(Translated from Tagalog) “Since I haven’t fought in two years, I’m in no hurry to knock him out. I just waited for the timing to hit him solid. I thank the fans here in Dubai because I am welcomed. There are many countrymen here.”
Now back in the fold, what’s the next move? Nietes’ goal is to fight either of the big three at 115 pounds. That would be unified WBA ‘Super’/WBC World Junior Bantamweight champ Juan Francisco Estrada, and former champions Roman Gonzalez and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Before Carrillo, his last outing was a win over Kazuto Ioka to win the vacant WBO World 115-pound strap on December 31, 2018. After the victory over Ioka, he disappeared from the scene.
Announcing plans to fight again and signing with MTK Global in October 2020, Nietes now has the backing of a major power player in the sport. It puts him in a better position to seek and acquire the big fights he wants. During his days as a world champion at 105, 108, and 112 pounds, he was unable to get the best in the division in the ring.
The win against Ioka at 115 was the only chance of attaining such an opportunity. In the twilight days of his career and new management in the fold, the hope is to at last secure his dream fight and make the big purses.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.