Donnie “Ahas” Nietes is out to prove that there’s no rust in his punching when he comes back in the boxing ring against Colombian foe Pablo Carrillo for the vacant WBO international super-flyweight title at the Caesars Palace Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on April 3, Saturday.
“I’m so happy and excited that finally, for the first time since 2018, I will be able to get back in the ring and fight. This is the best time to come back with the guidance of D4G Promotions and MTK Global,” said Nietes in Filipino, fighting for the first time in the coronavirus era and under the said promotion since jumping ship from Cebu-based stable ALA Boxing last October.
“Pablo is a good guy and he knows how to fight, but this will be an exciting performance from me. The pandemic and COVID[-19] don’t hinder my dreams to continue in boxing. I have been given this opportunity and I want to win it and then fight the world champions in the super-flyweight division,” added the four-division world boxing champion, who has missed action more than two years now.
Nietes, 38, has not fought since scoring a split decision win over Japanese opponent Kazuto Ioka for the WBO super-flyweight title in Macau on New Year’s Eve of 2018 to improve at 42-1-5 records on top of 23 knockouts.
His fight against compatriot Aston Palicte in September 2018 ended up in a draw and plans for a rematch didn’t materialize.
In almost two decades of his professional boxing career, Nietes only had one loss (split decision) which was against Indonesian Angky Angkotta way back in September 2004.
Carrillo, for his part, is riding on a two-match win streak after a triumphant 2019, beating Venezuelans Luis Golindano and Luis Guerrero. Like Nietes, this will be Carrillo’s first match amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m excited to fight in Dubai and excited to be fighting with such a great champion, but I am a champion too. I have a lot of experience with previous fighters and champions, and that has prepared me not only for this fight, but to remain motivated and hungry in my career,” said the Colombian boxer, who owns a 25-7 record with 16 KOs, with the help of a translator.