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Admitting that it will be tough going up against somebody like Donnie Nietes on hostile ground, Thailand’s Komgrich Nantapech insists that he has the two-division Filipino fighter all figured out.
“My team and I have been studying Nietes’ tapes, so I know this will be an exciting fight,” said Nantapech, who is challenging Nietes for the vacant International Boxing Federation flyweight crown on April 29 at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City.
“But I come to win,” said Nantapech, younger by seven years old at 27, during a break in his training.
“One more thing, I have youth on my side,” said Nantapech, adding that his Muay experience will also play a factor in his title try.
Nantapech has a 22-3-0 win-loss-draw record with 15 KOs and hasn’t tasted a loss in his last 15 outings.
While it may appear that Nantapech has sparkling credentials, it doesn’t compare with the 39-1-4 slate with 22 KOs of Nietes, who hasn’t dropped a fight the last 13 years.
If Nietes wins the IBF 112-lb title, he will become a three-division world champion after winning titles at minimumweight (105 lbs) and light-fly (108 lbs).
Apart from Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire, who had won eight and four world titles in as many weight divisions, respectively, no other Filipino fighter has won more than two.
The two-division titleholders apart from Nietes include the Penalosa brothers Dodie Boy (light-fly and fly) and Gerry (super-fly and bantam) and Luisito Espinosa (bantam and feather).
Nietes is holed up in training at the ALA Boxing training headquarters in Cebu City and is eager to make a splash in his first fight in 2017.
“Training is intense and sparring is tough but I am excited to become a three-division champion,” said Nietes, who turned professional in 2003.
The Nietes headliner is dubbed Pinoy Pride 4: Domination.