It is safe to say that Donnie “Ahas” Nietes has already made a legacy from his illustrious boxing career.
After all, he is one of only three Filipino boxers to win a world title in at least four weight divisions. The other two being the living legend Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire.
But before the household name “Ahas” was etched in the boxing scene, the Murcia, Negros Occidental native once considered starting a career outside of boxing when he applied for a technician job in Cebu.
The longest reigning Filipino world champion made this known when he took a trip back down memory lane with a post on his Facebook account.
The letter he posted on FB was addressed to the personnel manager of a certain company in Danao City, Cebu dated June 10, 2002.
In his application letter, the then 20-year-old Nietes vied for the production technician position after learning of the vacancy from a newspaper’s classified ads section. He wrote that he is a graduate of Association in Industrial Technology at Carlos A. Hilado Memorial State College and is willing to render his knowledge and services to the company.
The old adage that says everything happens for a reason goes well with what happened to Nietes’ application 19 years ago. He was not accepted, but that rejection opened a myriad of opportunities for him in the boxing world.
“Salamat kay wala ko madawat (I’m thankful I was not hired). Bring back memories,” Nietes wrote, captioning his post on FB with a smiling emoji.
Netizens commented on FB that if he had been accepted, he would not have been a four-division world champion and the longest reigning Filipino world boxing champ. His record: 42-1-5 with 23 knockouts.
About a year after that, Nietes turned pro on April 5, 2003.
His first bout was a unanimous decision win over Walter Suaybaguio in a small-town boxing match in Barangay Pitalo, San Fernando, Cebu. As he piled up more wins, he went on to become the face of ALA Promotions.
The rest is history.
Nietes successfully held his world champion status for the minimumweight and junior flyweight divisions for a total of eight years and 11 months.
In 2015, Nietes surpassed the record of the late Gabriel “Flash” Elorde who previously held the distinction at seven years and three months.
Along the way, Nietes captured the WBO mini-flyweight title, the WBO and The Ring magazine junior-flyweight titles, the IBF flyweight title and the WBO junior-bantamweight title.
Now at 38 years old, Nietes is raring for a ring return in April in Dubai, United Arab Emirates after two years of being inactive. He is now under D45 Promotions and MTK Global after the closure of ALA Promotions last year.