By Nick Giongco
Donnie Nietes, one of the most accomplished Filipino fighters of all time, won’t be returning to the ring anytime soon.
The former world minimumweight, light-fly, fly and super-fly champion, recently vacated the World Boxing Organization 115-lb throne to pursue career-defining fights rather than face Aston Palicte in a rematch.
“We’re going to wait for the result of the fights involving the division’s big names,” said Nietes trainer Edito Villamor on Monday from Cebu City, homebase of the 36-year-old Nietes.
Villamor is referring to Thailand Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada, who collide on April 26 for Sor Rungvisai’s World Boxing Council title.
Another title fight down the road will feature World Boxing Association (WBA) titlist Khalid Yafai of England against Norbelto Jimenez of the Dominican Republic. The WBA has ordered both sides to begin negotiations.
The International Boxing Federation ruler, Jerwin Ancajas, is not on Nietes’ radar screen.
Besides, Ancajas is also booked to make a mandatory defense against Ryuichi Funai of Japan on May 4 in Stockton, California.
Admitting that the decision to vacate was heartbreaking, Nietes insists that there is no point in facing Palicte, who be believes he beat when they fought last year even if the fight was ruled a draw.
With Nietes vacating, Palicte will fight for the vacant crown probably against unbeaten Jeyvier Cintron of Puerto Rico of Kazuto Ioka of Japan.
Nietes feels that at this time point in his career, he will pursue the big fights since he is in the twilight of an illustrious career.
Nietes’ four titles in as many weight classes puts him on the same level as Nonito Donaire, who has actually captured four.
Manny Pacquiao is on a pedestal with an unprecedented eight.