After some early speculation it's been revealed that the Filipino has told the WBO that he wishes to vacated the title to pursue career defining fights, and chase big bouts only, rather than rematch fellow Filipino Aston Palicte (25-2-1, 21), who he had been ordered to face in a mandatory defense. There had long been talk about the bout not being likely, with Nietes not expected to take the option of facing Palicte and instead looking at other potential options, including a bout with Roman Gonzalez, and it's now clear that bout with Palicte is not taking place.
Interestingly the next highest ranked available contender with the WBO, so Palicte's likely foe for a vacant title, is Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13) [井岡一翔]. Ioka lost to Nietes, in a razor thin decision in December, and is said to be eyeing a Spring return, so Ioka Vs Palicte could be the fall out from Nietes's possible decision, and would certainly be a very, very good bout.
Again things haven't been confirmed, and at the moment this more rumour and speculation than anything else, but it's educated guess work.
Interestingly the rumours circulating from Nicaragua is that Roman Gonzalez may also be heading into retirement, which could well have played a part in Nietes' decision regarding his future.
EDIT / UPDATE -
Following this being posted it's been revealed that Nietes and ALA have sent letters to the WBO to confirm that their plan is to only have career defining bouts his, given that Nietes is 37 in May, and have thanked the WBO for their support through out Nietes' career.
Earlier this month the WBO ordered negotiations for a mandatory title fight between WBO Super Flyweight world champion Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23) and mandatory challenger Aston Palicte (25-2-1, 21).
The WBO gave the teams from both men 15 days to sort a deal, and yesterday announced that a deal hadn't been reached, so they were ordering a purse bid for the bout.
The purse bid is now set to take place on February 28th in San Juan, with a minimum bid of $100,000.
The bout will be a second meeting between the two men, who fought to a draw last year. Following their draw both men have picked up a win, with Nietes defeating Kazuto Ioka to win the title, and become a 4-weight champion, and Palicte beating Jose Martinez to become the mandatory challenger for the belt.
Last week Filipino puncher Aston Palicte (25-2-1, 21) battered Puerto Rican Jose Martinez (20-1-2, 13), in just 2 rounds, in a WBO Super Flyweight world title eliminator to net himself a mandatory title fight.
Despite the fact that bout took place less than a week ago the WBO have already ordered Palicte, and his team, to begin negotiations with WBO world champion Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23), who will be making his first defense.
The WBO, as per their letter to the teams of the two men, have got 15 days to come to a deal or purse bids will be ordered, with a minimum bid of $100,000 (USD).
This will be the second bout between the two men, who fought to a controversial draw last year, and is set to be the third all-Filipino world title bout within the space of just a couple of years follow over a break of over 90 years between all-Filipino world title bouts.
We've included the WBO's letter to the teams above.
(Image obviously courtesy of the WBO)
On December 31st we had a WBO Super Flyweight world title bout that saw Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23) take a razor thin decision over between Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13) [井岡一翔]. Following the bout there was some question marks about Ioka's future. Thankfully it appears that his future is to remain active and that there are options on the table for the former 3 weight world champion, though nothing is set in stone for his next bout.
According to the Japanese boxing media Ioka could return in March in the US as part of Superfly 4, which is expected to take place in LA or New York, or he could fight in Japan, also in the Spring, with another world title bout being eyed for the Japanese fighter before the end of the year.
It seems like his team haven't ruled out trying to secure a rematch with Nietes, or pursuing fights with any of the other 3 champions, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Jerwin Ancajas and Kal Yafai.
Ioka himself stated that he would continue, and that his challenge is to become a 4 weight champion.
At the moment Ioka is stuck with a few things. The broadcaster of the first 3 Superfly shows, HBO, have left boxing leaving him without a US broadcaster and he's currently unable to fight in Japan due to his licensing situation, though that could be changed relatively easily in the future. TBS are known to back him, and back him strongly, and getting a fight on US soil would secure TBS a good ratings success, for what would be his first bout in the country since 2017. Likewise their nothing stopping the Superfly series from being picked up by one of the numerous other platforms entering the boxing market, such as DAZN or ESPN+
On New Year's Eve TBS showed the WBO Super Flyweight world title bout between Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13) [井岡一翔] and Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23), which saw Nietes take a controversial decision to become a 4-weight world champion.
The bout was part of a strange hybrid broadcast with "Sasuke 2018", and today the ratings for the entire show was released, in 3 parts.
The show was broken into various parts for the TV rating, all of which are averages and not a peak number, starting at 6.5%, rising to 6.9% for parts 2 and 3 in the Kanto region. In Kansai it was 4.2% for the first part, rising to 4.8% and then topping off at 5.9%.
We've not go specific details on which part correlates to what was being shown, though out understanding is that the middle portion of the show was the Ioka Vs Neites bout.
A 6.9% rating in Kanto is around 3,000,000 people whilst a 4.8% in Kansai is just over 1,000,000 and 5.9% in Kansai is around 1,350,000. We suspect these will be disappointing numbers for TBS, who sadly dropped their traditional Kyokugen show for Sasuke 2018.
Interestingly Rizin 14, on Fuji TV on New Year's Eve, reportedly got 7.5% in Kanto and 8.2% in Kansai, accounting for around 5,110,000 viewers for the exhibition bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Tenshin Nasukawa.
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