Donnie Nietes (born 13 May 1982 in Murcia, Negros Occidental, Philippines) is a Filipino professional boxer. He is the current WBO and The Ring Light Flyweight World Champion.He is also a former WBO Minimumweight World Champion.
Nietes worked as a utility man at the Antonio Lopez Aldeguer (ALA) boxing gym before taking up boxing after being encouraged by the practitioners whom he socialized with
Regarding how Nietes got his nickname “Ahas” which is Tagalog for “snake,” Tony Aldeguer states:
“Donnie got his nickname ‘ahas’ when he was a utility boy at the ALA Gym. One of his daily chores was to clean the snake pit with five big pythons and he was the only man with the guts to do it. He was bitten several times. But once he befriended the snakes, he was never bitten again. One day, a snake laid 11 eggs but only one survived. Donnie took care of that snake and he still does to this day. That’s how he got his nickname.”
Early years as professional boxer
In 2003, at the age of 20, Nietes started his career as a professional boxer. On, May 22, 2004, he won the Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) light flyweight title against Joseph Villasis via first-round technical knockout. Nietes was undefeated before losing in his bout against Angky Angkota via 10-round split decision on September 28, 2004. Angkota weighed in six pounds over the weight limit for this fight.
On November 24, 2011, Nietes won the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight Title against Heri Amol of Indonesia via second-round knockout. He defended the title twice against Thai boxers Thongthailek Sor Tanapinyo and Sakulpan Pakdee Gym prior to world title fights in minimumweight division.
On September 30, 2007, Nietes fought then undefeated Pornsawarn Kratingdaenggym of Thailand for the vacant WBO Minimumweight World Title in Waterfront-Cebu City Hotel, Cebu City, Philippines. Although Nietes floored Kratingdaenggym in the fourth round, the Thai boxer managed to get up at the final bell. The bout ended in a unanimous decision in favor of Nietes.
Three times, Nietes has been pitted with fighters against whom he was supposed to defend his title, however, all plans have fallen through for undisclosed reasons. Because of this, he was at risk of being stripped off his belt, as WBO rules state that a champion has to defend his title within a year. After 11 months of inactivity, he finally defended his crown, against Eddy Castro (12-3-1) on August 30, 2008. Nietes (23-1-3, with 14 knockouts) won the fight by technical knockout at 2:49 mark of the second round.
Nietes defended his title for the second time by scoring a unanimous decision victory over Erik Ramirez on February 28, 2009. En route to the win, Nietes sent Ramirez to the canvass four times in separate rounds.
In his third defense, Nietes battled interim champion Manuel Vargas on September 12, 2009. Nietes won the bout by split decision.
On January 23, 2010, Nietes was supposed to defend his WBO title for the fourth time. After a couple of opponents backed out, Mexico’s Jesus Silvestre became the last resort. But because Silvestre wasn’t ranked in the WBO, Nietes’ title wasn’t wagered and the bout was only 10 rounds. In the fight, both boxers did well and appeared strong. In the 10th and final round, Nietes was declared winner by TKO when Silvestre stopped to take a drink of water during the fight, a move that was against the rules.
In his fourth title defense, Nietes fought Mexico’s Mario Rodriguez. The fight took place on August 14, 2010, at the Auditorio Luis Estrada Medina in Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico. The Filipino pugilist won the bout by unanimous decision with scores of 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112.
Nietes was scheduled to defend his title on March 12, 2011, against mandatory challenger and former champion Raul Garcia (29-1-0). However, less than two weeks before the fight, Nietes announced that he would be vacating his world title and moving up in weight. 0n April 9, 2011, Nietes faced Armando Vazquez (18-5-0) and defeated him via first round knock out.
Light flyweight division
On October 8, 2011, Nietes defeated Mexico’s RamÃ³n GarcÃa Hirales via 12-round unanimous decision to win the WBO Light Flyweight title. Nietes defended the title on June 2, 2012 against Felipe Salguero via unanimous decision.
Nietes retained his WBO Light Flyweight title against WBO Strawweight champion Moises Fuentes on March 2, 2013 via a majority draw.