As the undercard fighters are getting used to the local conditions in the US West Coast, the star of the show is still in the Philippines waiting for the release of his US visa.
But Donnie Nietes, who will risk his World Boxing Organization (WBO) light-flyweight crown on Oct. 17 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, says the travel document is due any moment.
“My interview (at the US Embassy) was last week and since last Friday was a (Muslim) holiday, the arrival will be delayed a bit,” said Nietes, who defends the WBO 108-lb title for the eighth time against Juan Alejo of Mexico.
As soon as Nietes gets hold of his visa, he and trainer Edmond Villamor will take the first plane out of the country so he can begin training at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.
Already holed out at the Wild Card are ALA Boxing stablemates Jason and Prince Albert Pagara and Mark Magsayo, who will make up the undercard of the slugfest dubbed Pinoy Pride 33: Philippines vs The World.
Also already in the US is ALA boxing chief Michael Aldeguer who presided over a press conference at Max’s restaurant in Glendale over the weekend, hyping his company’s initial project on American soil.
Although Nietes has been to the US a few times, the 33-year-old Cebu-based, Negros-born puncher has never seen action there, requiring him to apply for the appropriate type of visa.
This year, Nietes has fought twice — in Manila and in Cebu — but next month’s appearance will be a landmark event as he will be showcased before the mainstream US boxing media.
Courtesy of Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickSpeaks