By: Ronnie Natalnietz –
WBO light flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes (32-1-4, 18 KO’s) who is preparing diligently for his rematch with mandatory challenger Moises Fuentes (19-1-1, 10 KO’s) of Mexico sparred four torrid rounds with former world light flyweight champion Giovanni Segura (31-3-1. 27 KO’s) at former world champion Daniel Ponce De Leon’s Gym.
Trainer Edito “Ala” Villamor said the sparring session went well and was a good experience for Nietes since Segura is a slugger and will suit Nietes well when he fights (mandatory challenger) Moises Fuentes” on May 10 at the Mall of Asia along Manila Bay.
Villamor said they were originally scheduled to spar six rounds but it had to be cut short since there was a another fighter who weighed 126 pounds who wanted to spar with Segura, a former No. 8 in the Ring pound for pound rankings before former WBO champion Brian Viloria battered Segura to score an 8th round TKO victory in a WBO flyweight title defense at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig Manila on December 11, 2011.
The trainer said he spoke to Segura after the sparring session and the former world champion told him “it’s is really difficult to find a sparring partner in the US that weighs below 122 pounds.” Segura himself weighs 123.
Villamor met with manager Javier Capitillo who also manages Alejandro Gonzales whom Villamor described as “good” after watching him spar in the presence of Ponce De Leon who was with his trainer Mario Morales.
He said the gym which “is properly managed by Ponce De Leon’s wife and is clean” also has several sparring partners for Filipino fighters at 122 pounds and above.
Villamor disclosed that Nietes, who will return to Manila to attend the Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Annual Awards on March 25, was working with outstanding strength and conditioning coach Nick Curson who reportedly did an excellent job with WBO minimum weight champion Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo who defends his title in Monterrey against No. 9 ranked Mexican Francisco Rodriguez Jr in a fight to be telecast by the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday.
Viva Sports will telecast a pre-fight special on the Sabillo-Rodriguez Jr title clash on Pinoy Box Office (PBO) over SkyCable on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
The special will provide highlights of four of Rodriguez’ fights which would give fight fans a chance to size up the challenger of Sabillo.
Photo: Donnie Nietes (R) and Giovanni Segura pose after their sparring session at the Daniel Ponce de Leon Gym in Mexico.