8 months ago

Former four-weight world champion Donnie Nietes will get the chance to reclaim the WBO junior-bantamweight title after a ruling by the sanctioning body. 

The WBO have installed Filipino hero Nietes as mandatory challenger to champion Kazuto Ioka, a man he has already beaten. 

Nietes won the vacant WBO crown in 2018 when outpointing his Japanese rival over 12 rounds in Macao and the pair are on course to clash for a second time, later this year. 

The WBO have opened a 30-day negotiating period to arrange the fight but if no agreement can be reached then the mouth-watering rematch at 115lbs will go to purse bids. 

Nietes had an enforced lay-off of over two years following his victory over Ioka, a win which made him a four-weight world champion, but he fought twice last year to get his storied career back on track. 

And the WBO have now made the 39-year-old – who has lost only once in 50 fights as a professional – the next challenger in line for Ioka. 

Nietes’ legendary move through the weights has seen him rule at minimumweight, light-flyweight, flyweight and in his current division. 

The man known as ‘Ahas’, which translates as ‘Snake’, was among the first batch of fighters to sign with Probellum after the company launched in September of last year. 

To keep updated on Nietes’ shot at Ioka’s WBO title, as well as all of Probellum’s news, sign up to our newsletter or follow Probellum on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook 

Probellum’s next event takes place in Liverpool on April 22 when the WBO bantamweight title is on the line, as local hero Paul Butler challenges champion John Riel Casimero.