Filipino superfly Nietes risks 14-year unbeaten streak

World Boxing Organization light-flyweight champion Donnie Nietes celebrates after defeating Mexican challenger Felipe Salguero on June 2, 2012 during a WBO light-flyweight title bout in Manila./AFP/

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Donnie Nietes, who hasn’t lost a fight in 14 years, tries to become a world champion in his fourth different weight class Saturday when he faces fellow Filipino Aston Palicte.

Nietes will risk his 33-fight unbeaten streak against hard-hitting 27-year-old Palicte for the vacant World Boxing Organization super flyweight title at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Nietes, 41-1 with four drawn and 23 knockouts, has 30 wins and three draws since suffering his only loss, a split-decision defeat to Indonesia’s Angky Angkotta in Jakarta in September 2004.

The 36-year-old right-hander became the WBO world minimumweight champion in 2007, the WBO world light-flyweight champion in 2011 and the International Boxing Federation world flyweight champion in April 2017.

Now he moves up to give the larger Palicte, 24-2 with 20 knockouts, his first world title chance with hope of joining the greatest legends in Filipino boxing, Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire.

“This fight represents a lot to me as I will be seeking my fourth world championship in a fourth different weight division,” Nietes said. “Winning the world title will put me at the level of Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire and will add worldwide recognition to my career.”

Pacquiao is the only man to win world titles in eight weight categories in boxing history. Donaire won titles in four weight classes starting at flyweight in 2007 through featherweight in 2014.

© Agence France-Presse