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EAGLE ROCK, California – Two-division world champion Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes will start a path which his upcoming opponent Edgar Sosa took six years ago but vowed to have a more successful journey.
The 34-year-old Nietes (38-1, 4 knockouts) will make his flyweight debut when he takes on Sosa in a 12-round bout for the vacant WBO international 112lb belt on Saturday (today in Manila) at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
In yesterday’s weigh in held at the Eagle Rock Plaza Mall here, Nietes tallied an exact 112lbs while Sosa seemed as ready as his Filipino counterpart when the Mexican came in at 111.5.
After losing his WBC world lightflyweight belt when he was knocked out by Filipino Rodel Mayol last November 2009 in Mexico, Sosa moved up in weight where in 18 fights saw him vie for three world title shots, but lost in all attempts.
Nietes recently vacated his WBO 108lb throne to campaign in his third division, a move which the Murcia-native fighter believes will bear fruit eventually.
“Hindi ko i-underestimate si Sosa kasi former world champion siya at world rated pa din. Sa ngayon challenger na ulit ako kasi binitiwan ko na yung world title ko pero tiwala ako na magcha-champion ulit ako,” said Nietes who also reigned as world minimumweight titleholder.
ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said they wanted to tap someone like Sosa, a former world champion who could give Nietes a test he needs and see how far the Filipino can go at four pounds heavier.
But Sosa, a 17-year veteran with a ring record of 52-9 spiked with 30 stoppages has his own plans.
“I will not end up as his test. I will end his quest tomorrow. I’m here to win and I also want to become a world champion,” said Sosa. “I lost in my last two title shots because I was not surrounded by good people. I had family issues to settle but all those issues are now resolved.”
Leading his new team is trainer and manager Jorge Barrera, one of Mexico’s respected champion makers who was part of the team that made his younger brother Marco Antonio, a boxing icon.
“Sosa has the skills and all he needed is someone who can tell him to sleep early and wake up early and train hard and on time. All I gave him was the needed push and we feel that will be enough for him to win,” said Barrera.
Also seeing action in this card dubbed “Pinoy Pride 38: Philippines vs. Mexico” is ALA Gym’s unbeaten featherweight prospect Mark ‘Magnifico’ Magsayo who will take on late replacement and Guanajuato native Ramiro Robles.
Fireworks are also expected during the rematch between another ALA protégé Arthur Villanueva who will settle an issue against Mexican foe Juan Jimenez in a 12-round battle for the WBO Asia Pacific bantamweight crown. (DENNIS PRINCIPE)