MANILA, Philippines – Donnie Nietes was never the boxer you would’ve imagined.
He was just a simple utility boy for Antonio Lopez Aldeguer, the founder of the ALA boxing stable that has produced numerous Filipino boxers that are world-class.
Born in Murcia, Negros Occidental, his existence was sentenced to be lived out in a dark pit, never to see the light of success as early as a young kid.
He got enticed to try boxing, realizing that this would get them out of the rut in their lives, he bit it.
And now, the one whose stardom was not pre-ordained, is the longest-reigning Filipino champ in history, rivaling that of the great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde. Donnie Nietes has come a long way since stumbling into the ALA Gym.
He has been given numerous awards. He has been handed a Ring Magazine belt, the Bible of all boxing. He has been inducted in the Elorde Hall of Fame. Nietes has compiled a 36-1-4 record in his career that’s spiked by 21 knockouts. Whoever wanted to challenge the King of the Pit was sent home with a vicious venomous bite few have recovered from.
Life was good.
But life gets better when you get recognized in the house you built. And that is what ALA Promotions’ long-standing Pinoy Pride fight card will do. Donnie Nietes will be inducted in the Pinoy Pride Hall of Fame before the Pinoy Pride 32: Duel in Dubai II card goes underway.
The commendation will be handed out by the Philippine Ambassador to Dubai Grace Princesa, ABS-CBN Sports’ head Dino Laurena, ALA Promotions’ Michael Aldeguer and Peter Musngi, as well as a representative from the WBO, and a representative from the Games and Amusement Board of the Philippines.
The decision to award Nietes in Dubai was in part to celebrate the Filipino community in the Arab state that have tirelessly worked for their families and to celebrate Nietes for keeping his title for eight years and counting. It is, in a way, a reflection of how hard Nietes has worked his way up from a fledgling boxer to the longest-reigning champion in Philippine boxing history.
The ALA boxers did it before, and they will do it again. Pinoy Pride 32: Duel in Dubai II will be aired on Sunday (August 9) on ABS-CBN at 10 AM with a replay on ABS-CBN Sports + Action at 6:30 PM.