Donnie Nietes (31-1, 17 KOs) will defend his WBO light flyweight title against Moises Fuentes (16-1, 8 KOs) in a March 2 bout that will take place in the Philippines.
Fuentes comes into this match having won his last four fights and will be moving up in weight to challenge the champion. Fuentes currently holds the WBO minimumweight crown, which is a title he has successfully defended twice.
Nietes is the veteran of the two and has been a dominant presence in the sport for the better part of the last decade. Ahas (Nietes' nickname) has also seen glory as a member of the minimumweight division after holding the title himself, but he has now moved up to light flyweight and been successful thus far.
Now that you have some background on each of these fighters, let's take a look at what a victory would mean for their respective careers.
What It Means For Nietes
The most obvious plus for Nietes winning this fight would be that he gets to keep his belt after yet another successful title defense.
At 30 years old, there is no disputing that Nietes is the best fighter in his division in the sport, but a loss to Fuentes would certainly change that notion. Losses have become so rare for Nietes, people may also begin to question if Ahas is starting to lose his edge.
Fuentes is the very best competition Nietes could be facing at the moment, so a decisive win will only help to elevate Ahas' place in boxing. He is already elite, but Ahas could move to a legendary status as he continues to pummel some of the best in the world.
In his last two fights, Nietes hasn't exactly wowed anyone with his performances.
His first title defense against Felipe Salguero saw Nietes win a 12-round bout that was rather boring to say the least. After that, Ahas scored a fifth-round knockout against Danai Meendaeng, which really did nothing to get people talking.
It's been awhile since Nietes has given people a reason to talk, but a win over Fuentes would do just that.
What It Means For Fuentes
A win for Fuentes will put him on the same path that Nietes is on as the 27-year-old would have held both the minimum and light flyweight crowns.
After a victory over Ivan Calderon, which effectively ended the veteran's career, Fuentes has started developing the mantra of "legend killer." Nietes is no doubt as close to legend status as you can get, so Fuentes beating him with an impressive victory would no doubt help cement that status.
Furthermore, Fuentes is moving up a weight class for this fight. Minimumweight isn't exactly a well-known class in boxing, so a victory and title belt from the light flyweight class would be the first step to making Fuentes a more well-known fighter.
This bout gives Fuentes a chance to be the next great thing in the light flyweight division, and he has a golden opportunity to become the face of this division if he can knock off the champ.