Filipino champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes has decided to vacate his WBO junior bantamweight title after refusing to take on mandatory challenger fellow Filipino Aston Palicte.
Nietes, who won the title by defeating Kazuto Ioka, fought Palicte in a title eliminator in September but settled for a split draw.
"After thinking hard about it for a long time, I have decided to vacate my WBO Super flyweight (junior bantamweight) belt, I feel in my heart that there is no point to do the rematch with Aston Palicte after the controversial draw,” said Nietes in a statement posted on Philboxing.
“I hope to seek bigger fights with the world champions of the other organizations. It may or may not happen but I believe this is the right decision under this situation.”
His promoter, Michael Aldeguer, previously said Nietes deserves to fight the bigger names in his division. They include Thai star WBC superfly champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, WBA superfly champion Khalid Yafai, and former champion Juan Franciso Estrada.
"He wants the big fights out there, that's something that he needs right now. There's nothing much more he can prove. He's a 4-division champion and has accomplished a lot," said Aldeguer.
Nietes said he is stepping aside to give Palicte an opportunity to become world champion.
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