Donnie Nietes vacates WBO crown

Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte pose before their WBO world super flyweight showdown last September 2018. | CDN file

Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte pose before their WBO world super flyweight showdown last September 2018. | CDN file

Donnie Nietes has officially vacated his WBO super flyweight world title.

"It took me a long time to think about this very hard decision, but I feel that every fight for me at this stage of my career is crucial for my future", Nietes wrote to WBO president Paco Valcarcel. "I have been long dreaming of having a career defining fight and there's not much time for me in the sport after 37 years old". Instead of the news of who won the purse bid, the WBO revealed that its 115-pound world title is now vacant.

Nietes has won a plethora of titles across several weight classes, including the WBO title at minimumweight, light flyweight and super flyweight as well as the IBF belt at flyweight.

Nietes, with belts in four divisions, is among his country's all-time best.

From the moment talks began, the team at Roy Jones Junior Boxing Promotions (RJJBP)-with whom Palicte is aligned-sensed that Nietes wasn't particularly interested in the fight as he'd been eyeing more lucrative opportunities in the loaded super flyweight division.

The WBO Inter-Continental flyweight title was next for Nietes, which he claimed with a decision victory against Edgar Sosa.

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"After thinking hard about it for a long time, I have made a decision to vacate my WBO super flyweight belt, I feel in my heart that there is no point to do the rematch with Aston Palicte after the controversial draw", reads Nietes' statement.

Nietes may be looking for fights against other big names at 115 pounds in order to add to his legacy. "He's a 4-division champion and has accomplished a lot", said Aldeguer.

Nietes (42-1-5, 23KOs) and Palicte fought to a 12-round draw in their vacant title fight last September in Inglewood, California. Juan Francisco Estrada, ranked No. 2, will fight for the WBC title on April 26 and third-ranked Ryuichi Funai is likely fighting for the IBF title, held by Jerwin Ancajas, but that fight has not been announced.

After losing to Nietes, Palicte bounced back and earned another shot at the world championship by defeating Jose Martinez in a WBO title eliminator bout.

The move clears the way for Nietes to chase the big-name fights that he has always been clamoring for.

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