Saturday, January 23, 2010

World Boxing Organization mini-flyweight king Donnie Nietes

World Boxing Organization mini-flyweight king Donnie Nietes will be facing a more dangerous foe in his fourth title-defense in the Solar Sports "Boxing at the Bay" on Jan. 23 at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City as former world title contender Sammy Gutierrez steps in and replaces fellow Mexican Ivan Meneses.

After a brief discussion with world-renowned matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz, ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said Gutierrez, 24, will act as Meneses's last-minute replacement because the latter backed out with just 19 days away from the world title bout.

"Ivan Meneses can't come to the Philippines. I think he didn't want to fight outside of Mexico because he didn't agree with the terms of the fight. For some reason he called off the fight," Aldeguer.

This is the second time Meneses turned down a fight in the Philippines. The first was his fight with Milan Melindo in the first installment of "Boxing at the Bay" last year. He was replaced, also at the last minute, by fellow Mexican Guadalupe Martinez.

"There are things in boxing that you can't control and this is one of them," said Aldeguer of the sudden change of opponent.

Nietes's team will be making a few changes in their preparation as they need to change their strategy. They will also look at videos of Gutierrez's previous fights.

Although this is just Gutierrez's second fight outside of Mexico, he has fought some of the best fighters in the lower weight divisions.

Gutierrez, also known as Guty, has a record of 22-5-2 with 13 knockouts. He fought and gave unbeaten International Boxing Federation mini-flyweight champion Raul Garcia three competitive bouts. Their first fight in 2006 ended in a draw while in the next two bouts in 2007 and 2009, Garcia escaped with two close decisions.

He also fought former world champion Omar Niño, undefeated South African Nkosinathi Joyi and bet Meneses in 2008 via unanimous decisions.

"This will be a tough fight because Gutierrez is more than willing to come here to the Philippines and fight for a world title. They believe they can win this fight," he said.

In Nietes's last two fights, he beat two Mexicans Erik Ramirez and Manuel Vargas both in Mexico a feat that no other Filipino world champion has achieved.

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