It’s being dubbed as the latest installment of the Philippines vs. Mexico boxing rivalry.

Philippines vs. Mexico

The rivalry between the Philippines and Mexico in boxing rose to new heights with Manny Pacquiao’s four bouts with Mexican boxing legend Juan Manuel Marquez. But with both fighters now past their primes, two current boxing  world champions from both countries will square off at the StubHub Center in Carson, California to renew that fierce rivalry.

Donnie Nietes, the Philippines’ longest reigning boxing world champion of All-Time, will be moving up in weight to challenge Mexican former WBC Flyweight champion Edgar Sosa:

Moving Up In Weight

On Thursday, Nietes formally relinquished the WBO Jr. Flyweight title to be able to fight Sosa. Nietes had been champion since 2011 when he defeated another Mexican in Ramon Garcia Hirales. Since then, Nietes has successfully defended the belt 9 times, stopping his opponent on five of those title bouts.

The only blot to his rule was a 12-round majority draw against Moises Fuentes in 2013. Nietes avenged that by knocking out Fuentes one year later.

In 2015, Nietes surpassed the legendary Gabriel “Flash” Elorde as his country’s longest reigning boxing champion. Nietes is also the Ring Magazine’s Jr. lineal Junior Flyweight champion. But the dearth of big fights in his weight class has forced Nietes to make a move to the next higher class where the likes of Sosa, fellow Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada and current Pound for Pound best fighter Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez reside.

A Solid Test

Sosa himself was a long reigning champion. He held the WBC Flyweight title from 2007-2009, making 11 successful title defenses during that period. The 36-year old Sosa has notable wins over Giovanni Segura and Ulises Solis in recent years but suffered a 2nd round KO loss to Roman Gonzalez last year.

Sosa is 3-2 in his last three bouts and is coming off a victory over unknown Orlando Garcia Guerrero last February. Despite his recent skid, Sosa should provide Nietes with a solid test at 112 pounds.

Nietes will only be fighting for the second time on U.S. soil. His first appearance was during the under card of Gonzalez-Viloria where he won a lopsided decision over Juan Alejo. Nietes win was unnoticed because of the brilliance of Chocolatito’s win over Nietes’ countryman Viloria. Chocolatito is slated to defend his flyweight titles against Carlos Cuadras on September 10th. If he is successful and Nietes wins convincingly against Sosa, a fight between them could be targeted for 2017.

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