Holding a mop on his hand Donnie watched and waited for hours as each boxer in the famed ALA gym finished their normal routines. He would mimic some of the famous ALA boxers while cleaning up the sweated and dirty boxing ring, shadow boxing then hitting the mitts and following some routine training before calling it a day. There are days when he was so tired that he finds himself sleeping in the ring canvass. There was no complaining because every day was a learning experience for Donnie. The ALA gym had a snake pit and with five big pythons no one dared to go in and clean the place except for Donnie who had the guts to go in inspite being bitten several times that’s why people call him “Ahas” (snake). After some encouragement from the ALA people Donnie Nietes turned professional in 2003 and became a national champion a year later.
The former utility man is now a world champion and defended his belt three times against world class oppositions. Who would have thought the person who regularly cleans every mess in the gym is now the lone world champion along a sea of boxers in one of the famous gym in the Philippines.
Donnie dreams of cleaning up the division and it’s not an easy task. There’s Roman Gonzalez the WBA champion then there’s Nkosinathi Joyi‘s IBF belt and Oleydong Sithsamerchai of Thailand parading his WBC belt. Donnie also has to consider his number one contender Carlos Buitrago. At 27 years old with only one loss on his record it looks like it’s becoming possible to make that feat for Donnie. Nobody expected him to where he is now back when he was still carrying a broom and mop. Nobody dared to clean a pit full of big pythons but Donnie did it even if he was hurting from occasional snake bites. Donnie will be the first unified champion in the Philippines. No doubt about it he has been doing it since before and now the former utility man is cleaning up again…cleaning up his division.