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.
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