At 5-foot-7, Aston “Mighty” Palicte could turn out to be an imposing figure against grizzled veteran Donnie “Ahas” Nietes when they meet in an all-Filipino title clash in the “SuperFly 3” card over the weekend.
Boxing analyst Ed Tolentino said the 5-foot-3 Nietes, already a 3-division boxing champion, is giving away much in terms of height and reach advantage.
“And this can be an issue, plus the fact that Nietes is basically new in the super flyweight division,” said Tolentino.
It will be Nietes’ first fight as a super flyweight, after spending years fighting as a flyweight, junior flyweight and minimumweight.
Against Palicte, he will attempt to win the vacant WBO super flyweight title and crown himself as the third Filipino to become a 4-division champion after Nonito Donaire Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
Tolentino said Nietes had trouble handling taller fighters in the past.
“I remember the last time he fought a guy as tall as Palicte was in 2013, the first time he met Mexican Moises Fuentes. Fuentes was big and he hurt Nietes,” he said.
“Nietes settled for a draw in the first fight with Fuentes, but he was able to cut down the Mexican to size in their rematch.”
But he pointed out that Palicte is naturally a bigger guy.
“Palicte is a natural super fly and may even hit harder than Fuentes,” said Tolentino.
But Nietes is the more experienced fighter with a record of 41-1-3 with 23 KO's. Palicte, on the other hand, has a record of 24-2, with 20 KO's.
The bout will take place on Saturday at The Forum of Inglewood, Calif. (Sunday, Manila time).
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