by Nick Giongco
The camp of mandatory challenger Aston Palicte lashed out at the promotional team of World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-flyweight king Donnie Nietes for allegedly trying to wiggle out of its obligation to defend.
“Well, they seem to think that they are above the rules,” said Palicte’s chief handler Jason Soong, who insists that Nietes has no other options but to meet Palicte in a rematch as per WBO rules.
Last week, the WBO ordered Nietes and Palicte’s camps to start negotiations after Palicte knocked out Jose Martinez of Puerto Rico recently in a title elimination fight.
Nietes had beaten Palicte when they fought in September last year and the bout was ruled a controversial draw even though many thought that Nietes had done enough to earn the verdict in the battle for the vacant 115-lb title.
The WBO then allowed Nietes, who originally comes from Murcia, Negros Occidental, to vie for the same crown on New Year’s Eve 2018 and defeated Kazuto Ioka of Japan in Macau.
Soong said that “when they challenged for that belt, they knew that by doing that, we were to fight for the mandatory challenger,” said Soong.
“I really don’t know what’s taking them so long,” added Soong.
Palicte, who hails from Bago City, is represented in the US by boxing great Roy Jones Jr., who is determined to stage the fight in Las Vegas or Los Angeles.
Nietes’ camp is also attempting to promote it, says Michael Aldeguer, who swears they are not running away from the mandatory challenge.