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‘Ahas’ hides fangs

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Nietes keeps poise in press conference.

CARSON, California – It could be a case of calm before the storm as protagonists Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes and Mexican foe Edgar Sosa became civil with each other two days before their intriguing 12-round ring war at the Stubhub Center in Carson.

The two combatants met during a classy press conference Thursday morning at the Carson Civic Center where they opted to exchange civilities rather than prop up their respective chances in what could result to a title shot for the victor of this event dubbed “Pinoy Pride 38: Philippines vs. Mexico”.

“Every champion has his own qualities and I see Nietes as one of those great champions with his skills. He’s got speed and I look forward to a great fight,” said Sosa.

The 37-year-old Sosa however gave Nietes a stern look as they made their customary faceoff, as if wanting to tell the Filipino icon that he does not belong in this division.

“Tignan na lang natin sa ring. Alam ko naman magaling din siya at mahaba experience kaya mapapalaban din siguro ako,” said Nietes.

Nietes, 34, will be fighting in the flyweight class for the first time after dominating the minimumweight and later on the lightflyweight division for a record eight straight years.

ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said it was imperative for them to match Nietes against a former world champion who remains formidable and Sosa, being the fifth rated flyweight contender by the WBC, fits that standard.

“With where Donnie is right now, there is no point of fighting so-called unknown fighter. If he can’t win against Sosa, then there’s no point of campaigning in this division,” said Aldeguer “Sosa is a good gauge to see where he’s at and we need to see where he stands here in this division.”

A win by Nietes will make him a cinch to battle for the now vacant WBO flyweight crown after longtime champion Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico decided to move up in the superflyweight division.

Nietes, has been installed as the 112lb division’s top contender by the WBO owing to his unbeaten reign as WBO minimumweight and lightflyweight champion the last eight years.

Nietes may battle w winner between two-time Olympic gold winner Zou Shiming of China and Thai prospect Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym, rated second and third by the WBO respectively, as the two will meet in a 12-round bout beneath the Manny Pacquiao versus Jessie Vargas las Vegas title bout this November. (DENNIS PRINCIPE)

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