Nietes risks the WBO 108-lb crown against Francisco Rodriguez of Mexico, a youthful puncher who has earned the ire of the 33-year-old long-time Filipino champion.
“I want to avenge the loss of Merlito Sabillo,” said Nietes in Pilipino when he met the media, referring to his stablemate’s heartbreaking loss to Rodriguez a couple of years ago.
Nietes (35-1-4 with 21 KOs) is so pumped up that he is already in his third month of training for Rodriguez (17-2-1 with 11 KOs).
“If I land my right hand he will surely fold,” added Nietes, who has been on a roll lately, having beaten up just every challenger lined up before him.
Told that Rodriguez, just 21, is cocky and confident, Nietes brushed it off.
“We’ll see in the ring if he is really cocky,” added Nietes in the slugfest being put up by Tony Aldeguer’s ALA Boxing and ABS-CBN.
In the main supporting fight, unbeaten featherweight prospect Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo clashes with Rafael “Geurrito” Garcia of Mexico, while amateur standout Kevin Jake “KJ” Cataraja faces Ardi “Predator” Tefa of Indonesia in a six-round flyweight battle.
Courtesy of Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickSpeaks