MANILA – Negrense boxer Aston Palicte hopes for another shot at the world championship when he battles Puerto Rican Jose Martinez in a WBO super flyweight belt eliminator match today at the Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, California.
The winner of the Palicte-Martinez match will earn the right to challenge WBO super flyweight champion Donnie Nietes, who captured the belt with a split decision win over Japanese Kazuto Ioka on New Year’s Eve.
While not looking past Martinez, the Bago City, Negros Occidental-native Palicte said that he hopes to have another shot at Nietes as he primarily believes to winning their first encounter last year.
“I felt like I won the fight,” Palicte said. “But a draw is better than a loss. I expected to win that fight. I got him good in the early round, his face was all swollen, but I respect the judges’ decision.”
He added: “I was disappointed to learn we were not going to have an immediate rematch like I had thought, but this fight will be good preparation for me to fight Nietes again for the world title.”
Palicte said he has prepared hard for his match with Martinez knowing the latter was not a push over and he need to win over the Mexican to have another shot at Nietes.
“I need to win against Martinez,” Palicte said. “He is a good fighter, but I’m confident I can win this fight. I’m still very hungry. I missed the first time but, this time, I’m not letting it go.”
He added: “There is pressure to be the next great Filipino fighter.I’ve been waiting for this my whole life. I nearly did it (win world title) the last time and I’m not stopping until I get that world title belt.”
The 27-year-old Palicte is set to parade an impressive 24-2-1 win-loss-draw ring record, including 20 stoppage wins, while Martinez had an unblemished 20-0-2 with 13 knockout wins./PN