MANILA, Philippines - Donnie Nietes, who continued a flourishing career last year by retaining his WBO lightflyweight title twice, will go on stage as one of four outstanding boxers to be honored during the 14th Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Memorial Awards and Banquet of Champions on March 25 at Harbour Garden Tent of the Sofitel Hotel.
Nietes won by majority decision in his first title defense against Moises Fuentes of Mexico on March 2, and scored a third round knockout of Sammy Gutierrez also of Mexico in his title defense on Nov. 30.
The 31-year-old from Murcia, Negros Occidental joins three others – IBF light flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero, WBO minimumweight titleholder Merlito Sabillo and WBO superbantamweight champion Nonito Donaire in the elite circle of outstanding boxers who will receive the highest distinction conferred by the Elorde family during the Awards Night and Banquet of Champions held in honor of pro boxing’s longest-reigning world junior lightweight titleholder – Flash Elorde – who retained the crown from 1960 to 1967.
Manny Pacquiao, the first boxer to be inducted to the Elorde Hall of Fame, will be the main honoree in the Elorde Banquet of Champions, an exclusive assembly of world, international and Philippine champions during the past year.
The event, staged by the Johnny Elorde International Management, is sponsored by Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Cobra Energy Drink and Pagcor.
Also to be awarded are the best international referee, promoter, trainer, judge, most promising boxers and best fight of the year.
Special citations and posthumous awards will also be presented by the clan of the late Elorde, led by his wife Laura.