THE CAMP of WBO super flyweight champion Donnie Nietes confirmed that they are currently negotiating with the camp of fellow Negrense boxer Aston Palicte for a possible rematch later this year.
Michael Aldeguer of ALA Boxing Promotions said that they have already talked with Roy Jones Promotions, who handles Palicte, to seal the rematch after the WBO mandated Nietes to defend his crown against his fellow Negrense.
“We never said we won’t be fighting Palicte. What we said is Nietes is looking for the bigger fights and still weighing the options, including fighting Palicte,” Aldeguer said in a statement.
“We have been in contact with (Palicte’s promoter) Roy Jones Promotions since last week,” he added, but refused to give details on what have been discussed.
The WBO, in a letter dated Feb. 4, asked the camp of the two Filipino fighters to come up with an agreement within 15 days for the bout, which will serve as a rematch for their first encounter last year that ended in a split draw.
Jason Soong, Palicte’s manager, earlier said if Nietes refuses to have the rematch, he will pit his fighter against the highest-ranked WBO super flyweight challenger and force Nietes to relinquish his world title.
“As much as we don’t want to fight another Filipino, I owe it to Aston to give him another world title shot,” Soong said. “If (Donnie) does not want, we will face other WBO challenger but that would mean that the WBO super flyweight belt must be vacated.”
Palicte, a Bago City native, earned the right to challenge the Murcia native Nietes’ world championship after scoring a second round stoppage victory over Puerto Rican Jose Martinez late last month.
The first encounter between the Negrenses, which was for the then vacant WBO super flyweight championship, held last September ended in a controversial split draw. Nietes went on to take home the crown with a split decision win over Japanese Kazuto Ioka./PN