The name of former undefeated four division world champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes cropped up among many fans as preferred next opponent for Nicaraguan great Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzales at the heels of the latter’s successful return as world super flyweight titlist with a crushing late round knockout of erstwhile WBA defending champion Khalid Yafai of the UK recently.
But Nietes who last reigned as WBO super flyweight champion following his title conquests in the minimumweight, light flyweight and flyweight divisions has not seen ring action since November 2018 when he defeated Japan’s Kazuto Ioka for that same crown.
Nietes is also unranked by the WBA in the 115 lbs. weight class where Gonzales is the new champion.
He is also unlisted in both the IBF and WBO though the WBC where another Gonzales potential next opponent Juan Francisco Estrada is titleholder, Nietes is listed at number 5.
The 32 year old Filipino fighter vacated the WBO title early last year after refusing to defend it against countryman Aston Palicte with whom he drew in their first fight for that title vacated much earlier on the other hand by Naoya inoue .
The WBO super flyweight title left by Nietes was eventually won by Ioka who defeated Palicte by TKO in June last year. Ioka successfully defended that title last December by decision over Puerto Rican mandatory challenger Jayvier Cintron in Japan.
Nietes was last heard of when he went to Japan last December during the WBO Annual Convention and appealed to the WBO leadership for reinstatement in the WBO ranking and a crack at the same title he vacated and now firmly held by Ioka. Latest news have Ioka most likely defending next against fellow Jspanese Kosei Tanaka by the middle of this year.
The WBO has since not acted on his appeal and in fact, Nietes has also remained unranked by the organization in its latest rating.
The WBO could have been offended by his unceremoniously vacating its super flyweight title after giving him two chances to win it and earlier nurturing his championship career as WBO minimumweight and light flyweight titleholder.
The only other world title won by Nietes outside of the aegis of the WBO was the IBF flyweight belt he won in 2018 and which he also vacated after a single defense over Juan Carlos Reveco.
Given these, there is very slim chance that Chocolatito Gonzales would give Nietes a crack at his newly won WBA title. Unless Nietes could secure a WBA ranking despite his continued inactivity.
Being rated by the WBC, Nietes perhaps could challenge Estrada for the WBC title but with his desire to get back at Gonzales for an earlier close title defeat at light flyweight, the Mexican ace may be very hard to convince to fight the Pinoy any time soon.
Tough luck as fans believe that Nietes would be a good match for any of Gonzales or Estrada noting that the Pinoy has been pursuing a fight against the two since years ago.