Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report

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Donnie Nietes Has Always ‘Secretly’ Been the Best Filipino Fighter Behind Manny Pacquiao


By. Kayla Lewis

July 18, 2015

Well, it’s not really a secret anymore than it is more obvious. Donnie Nietes has ‘secretly’ always been the second best active Filipino fighter behind Pacquiao. 

It’s fascinating to sit and look back on how many other Filipino boxers were being labeled as the one to carry the torch for the Philippines once Pacquiao’s reign was over. Names like AJ Banal, Bernabe Concepcion, Marvin Sonsona, Ciso Morales, etc. were mentioned, but not a single one lived up to the hype. The truth is while the search was being looked after elsewhere for a head for crown, the answer has been apparent for quite some time, or at least since 2007.

Donnie Nietes has dominated as one of the top lower weight champions for eight years now, without ceasing. Winning his first legitimate world title in 2007 versus Thai contender Pornsawan Porpramook, Nietes won by unanimous decision and went forth to defend his 105-lb title successfully four times over the span of four years.

A shift up to the light flyweight division was made in 2011 which saw ‘Ahas’ winning another world title and garnering seven defenses under his belt. He has broken fellow countryman Flash Elorde’s recording for longest reign as a Filipino champion.

 What else is there to say? Filipino boxing has always had more to offer than Manny Pacquiao. Sure, there was the brief era of Nonito Donaire, who unlike Pacquiao wasn’t as loved, but nevertheless demonstrated his own case in being able to represent his native country well. Donaire’s run was good, he was exciting and active, but it wasn’t long before he was figured out  by a rather feared Cuban and dismantled by a strong Jamaican.

And here we have Nietes, who all along has portrayed the traits to remain on top for as long as he has. A methodical, technical, but fan-friendly fighter with some power in his arsenal who is actively setting a new record. Truth is, Donnie Nietes was well on his way to proving his skills before Pacquiao had even shot into super stardom from the De La Hoya fight.

What gives? One has to believe that the weight classes Donnie has always fought in aren’t relevant enough to the general boxing public to consider him worthy (here’s to hoping Roman Gonzalez can change all that) enough to even hold a candle to what boxers in higher weight classes can do. While this opinion can be subjective, I have to personally say it’s false, a good fight is a good fight and is the weight class that important at the end of the day?

 It’s a shame really, a double-edged sword it seems. Many Filipino fighters have constantly been casted under the shadow of Manny Pacquiao’s tremendous achievements and have subtly fought for the right to say they can be the equivalent or close to it. The conclusion is they’ve just about all failed, been scolded for it and further bashed for trying to be like someone else rather than themselves in the ring. 

However, Donnie Nietes has really only ever been himself. He’s done his job as a fighter, but continues to be unappreciated and basically ignored as a whole.
Hm, one thing is for sure though, no matter where in the world, fight fans are a fickle bunch. When they love you they love you, but when they don’t … well … they don’t. And if you never knew anything else, you’ll know this for sure.


*Kayla M. Lewis is a blogger for 8CountNews.com, a past guest of the Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report podcast/YouTube show, and a regular contributor to the Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report blog page


July 18, 2015 - Posted by | Analysis, Blog, Commentary |

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