Although most of the smaller divisions are over-looked we feel that the Light Flyweight division is probably the most over-looked at the moment. To be fair understandable that the division is over-looked with only really Kazuto Ioka standing out.
Despite the lack of big names at 108lbs it's still a division that has been giving us some great contests in recent years thanks to the likes of Kompayak Porpramook, whose first war with Adrian Hernandez was something special and Roman Gonzalez, whose fight with Juan Francisco Estrada was a 2012 FOTY of the year contender.
This weekend again sees the division on the verge of a thriller as WBO world champion Donnie Nietes (31-1-4, 17) defends his title for a third time and takes on Mexico's Sammy Gutierrez (33-9-2, 23) as part of "Pinoy Pride XXIII".
This bout, Nietes's first since a controversial draw with Moises Fuentes back in March, looks like one that should be easy if you've been following Gutierrez's recent form which has seen him losing 3 of his last 6. Unfortunately for Filipino fans Nietes seems to struggle when he should make life easy for himself.
One a very talented boxer-puncher Nietes appears to have regressed since he moved from Minimumweight to Light Flyweight. Evidence of this has been seen in his struggles with Ramon Garcia Hirales, Felipe Salguero and of course Fuentes. Interestingly all three of those men have been Mexican's just like Gutierrez.
The problem for Nietes is that he appears to have forgotten how to box at times and seems to have some misguided belief that he's a monster puncher. Unfortunately Nietes's movement from boxer-puncher to wannabe-puncher has seen him taking away some of his own strengths and unless he can find his boxing again he could well be in for a tough contest here.
For many who follow the lower weights Gutierrez has been picked as the proverbial patsy. Unfortunately the Mexican, known as "Guty", is a fighter who will be aware that this could be his final chance at this level.
The Mexican is a proven world level fighter having been a former WBA interim Minimumweight champion who once defended that belt against Filipino Renan Trongco. Unfortunately in recent contests Gutierrez has looked a bit shop worn and suffered losses to Juan Palacios, Armando Torres and Raul Garcia. Despite those loses however he did stop another Filipino in the form of Rolio Golez.
With a record of 2-0 (2) against Filipino's it's fair to say that Gutierrez has been more impressive against Filipino's than Nietes has been against Mexicans. Saying that though it does need to be noted that Nietes has been facing much better Mexican's than the Filipino's Gutierrez has been beating.
Going into this bout we hope to see the Nietes of old. The clever Nietes who used speed, movement and skills to land his shots. If we instead see the Nietes of the Fuentes fight we wouldn't be shocked if he lost his title, which we honestly think he was lucky to keep following that contest.
Despite being the WBO champion we tend to feel that Nietes is one of the weakest champions in the sport and it'd not be a shock if the winner of the upcoming Naoya Inoue/Jerson Mancio contest looked towards Nietes as an easy world title if the Filipino retains here.
World Title Previews
The biggest fights get broken down as we try to predict who will come out on top in the up coming world title bouts.