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Donnie Nietes regrets vacating WBO super flyweight title

Four-division champion Donnie Nietes has regretted his decision to vacate the WBO super flyweight title last year.

After winning the crown over Kazuto Ioka via split decision in December 2018, Nietes was ordered by the sanctioning body to defend the gold-plated strap against his fellow Filipino Aston Palicte.

Nietes and Palicte shared the ring in 2018, where they ended up settling for a split draw in a fight that many believed Nietes won.

He felt that his fellow Filipino had a better chance of becoming a world champion against someone else, so he gave way and vacated the belt.

Palicte and Ioka and fought for the hardware, but the Japanese ultimately defeated the Pinoy boxer via tenth-round technical knockout in June 2019 and has held the title since then.

"I didn't regret it at first. I wanted to give Palicte a chance for a world title, he failed," Nietes told The Hit List.

"That was when I regretted it because he didn't win the title fight. If I knew that he can't make it, I should have just fought him so the title remained with a Filipino," he said.

Nietes, who holds a record of 42-1-5 with 23 knockouts, is still on a hunt for a world title at 38 years old. He has names on his list but iterated that he would rather not face a countryman.

"I want to fight a foreigner. I refuse to fight Jerwin Ancajas because I do not want a Filipino versus Filipino fight," he said.

"I want Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Juan Francisco Estrada, Kazuto Ioka, or Joshua Franco. Those guys I can fight, but I will think twice when it comes to fighting a Filipino," he added. —MGP, GMA News