By Nick Giongco
After seeing Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire reside in the pound-for-pound ratings over the years, Donnie Nietes’ time has finally come.
The online edition of The Ring magazine yesterday listed Nietes in its elite top ten roster at No. 9, making the Cebu-based, Negros-born puncher the third Filipino to occupy a spot on the mythical selection of the world’s best boxers.
The Ring’s list is topped by world middleweight king Gennady Golovkin while Ukrainian lightweight Vasyl Lomachenkobis second and welter boss Terence Crawford is third.
Mikey Garcia, Japanese Naoya Inoue, Thai Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, welter ruler Errol Spence and Russian Sergey Kovalev take up the next slots. After Nietes, the tenth spot was awarded to Ukrainian cruiserweight Oleksandr Usyk.
Nietes (41-4 with 23 KOs) blasted out Juan Carlos Reveco of Argentina in his last outing last February.
While he no longer holds a world title, after relinquishing the flyweight throne a few months ago, Nietes earned the nod of the keenest observers of boxing with his exceptional showing the last few years.
Undefeated since 2004, Nietes is attempting to win a fourth world title when he faces fellow Negros fighter Aston Palicte on Aug. 18 in Cebu City.
Nietes, who turned 36 last month, is neck-deep in training in Los Angeles under Edmond Villamor and strength coach Nick Curson and will be back in the country on July 1.