by Nick Giongco
Nietes battles fellow three-division titlist Kazuto Ioka of Japan on Dec. 31 at the Wynn Macau for the vacant World Boxing Organization super-flyweight crown.
Holed up in Cebu the last few months, Nietes (41-1-5 with 23 KOs) feels that he’s done enough in training and studying his Japanese rival that he has Ioka (21-1 with 13 KOs) all figured out.
Edito ‘Ala’ Villamor, who trains the 36-year-old Nietes, is supremely confident that the WBO 115-lb title will become a part of their baggage when they fly back to the Philippines.
Last September, Nietes was held to a draw by fellow Filipino Aston Palicte in their Los Angeles match for this same title that Nietes had clearly dominated.
Before deciding to go after the 115-lb title, Nietes and Ioka had won championships at minimumweight (105 lbs), light-fly (108) and fly (112).