Richard Schaefer says the “special” Donnie Nietes will chase major super flyweight unification fights after regaining his world title.
Nietes is in Tokyo, Japan to challenge WBO junior bantamweight champion Kazuto Ioka on Wednesday night at the Ota-City Gymnasium.
The Filipino hero defeated Ioka in 2018 to win that belt but would soon vacate the title and nearly four years on, he heads into “enemy territory” to take it back.
And Probellum President Schaefer says once Nietes has reclaimed the WBO crown, he will target unification showdowns with the other world champions, including Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez and Juan Francisco Estrada.
“Boxing is like an addiction and it’s very difficult for fighters to let go,” Schaefer said.
“And when you do become world champion again at age 40, who is going to stop you?
“Who is going to tell you that you cannot go and try to pursue a unification fight?
“For a long time, the lower weight classes were neglected but now that has changed, and today, they are extremely popular with fight fans and networks.
“It’s the right time to be in those weight classes and I would not be surprised if Donnie, once he’s world champion again, says: ‘Hey, I might as well add a few more titles.’”
Nietes is a former four-weight world champion and continues to operate at the top of the sport, aged 40.
Schaefer believes the man known as ‘Ahas’ is “underappreciated” but that his record stands up to any fighter in the lower weight classes.
“Donnie is certainly going to be a Hall of Famer,” Schaefer added.
“But he’s a little bit underappreciated. If you compare Donnie’s record to other fighters in that past, in these weight classes, he holds up very well with any of them.
“Donnie has 43 wins in a long spanning career and has only one loss. And that one loss came back in 2004, 18 years ago – he hasn’t lost in 18 years!
“That must be the longest unbeaten streak of any active fighter today? And it just shows you how special he is that he goes again into enemy territory to go and challenge for the world title again. It’s a fascinating story.”
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