MANILA, Philippines – Filipino world champions Donnie "Ahas" Nietes and Merlito Sabillo plan to duplicate the recent victories of Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire Jr. inside the boxing ring.
Nietes will be defending his WBO world light flyweight title against Mexican challenger Sammy Gutierrez, while Sabillo will stake his WBO world minimumweight strap against Carlos Buitrago of Nicaragua.
The bouts will be the co-main events of Pinoy Pride XXIII on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
“Malaking tulong yun na ginawa ni Manny Pacquiao atsaka ni Donaire na ma-apply sa sarili namin na ganadong ganadong lumaban,” Nietes said, on the latest wins of Pacquiao and Donaire.
“Congratulations, Manny, at bumangon ka. ‘Wag kang gi-give up sa mga pagsubok na dumarating sa atin. Salamat sa pagbigay karangalan sa ating bansa,” said Sabillo.
Pacquiao defeated Brandon Rios via a lopsided decision over the weekend. Early this month, Donaire stopped Vic Darchinyan in the 9th round.
Also fighting in Pinoy Pride XXIII are Filipino boxers Milan “El Metodico” Melindo, Jason “El Niño” Pagara, and AJ “Bazooka” Banal.
Melindo will face Jose Alfredo “Torito” Rodriguez of Mexico, while Pagara will go up against Vladimir Baez of the Dominican Republic. Banal is slated to square off against Puerto Rican Lucian Gonzales.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao wished the Filipino fighters well.
“Good luck sa inyo… siyempre ang karangalan hindi lang ako nagbibigay kundi kayo rin. Karangalan natin lahat itong laban na maipanalo n’yo,” he said.