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Strength coach says Donnie Nietes can make his way to bantamweight

For now Nietes will be moving up to super flyweight this summer.

Donnie Nietes Nicole Sarmiento/
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Filipino fighter Donnie Nietes (41-1-4, 23 KOs) is currently scheduled to move up to super flyweight this August where he’ll take on Aston Palicte for a vacant WBO title. And as the 36-year-old fighter prepares for the transition his strength and conditioning coach Nick Curson tells RingTV that he can see Nietes moving up the scales ever more, to bantamweight.

That’s no small ask for a fighter who stands only 5’3”, but Curson thinks Nietes’ style and demeanor make that a real possibility.

“I don’t like to look too far forward but I can honestly see him fighting about 5-6 more fights, but ending up at 118. It’s possible with the nutrition program that I’ve got him on now,” said Curson.

“I think Donnie likes being the smaller fighter, that’s something kind of fun for him because of his weaving style, his angles.”

But one thing Curson would like to change about Nietes is an extracurricular activity which he believes is curtailing his ability to remain explosive as he moves up in weight — namely cycling.

It’s an interesting take considering that former middleweight champion Sergio Martinez was known to be an avid cyclist. But Curson says the activity is a slow twitch sport that while good for cardio, can decrease your power and musculature. Curson says that Nietes has looked slimmer than usual the past couple of years and attributes that to Nietes’ cycling activities on the weekends.

If Nietes is to move up in weight any more at his age, he’ll probably need as much size and strength as he can get.

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