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The Whole Tooth and Nothing But ...

By Ed de la Vega, DDS

Diosdado Gabi - the Long Road Back
Sun, 23 Jul 2006

Diosdado "Prince" Gabi (26-3-1 (18 KOs), the flyweight contender from the beautiful City of Davao is on a journey. But, he has a long road back.

Diosdado "The Lion Heart" Gabi

Gabi's problem started with some managerial issues in the Philippines that forced him to seek "greener pastures" in the US leaving his wife and kids under the care of his folks in Davao. Fortunately for him, a US promoter, Michael Koncz took him in and started arranging fights for Gabi in the US. Koncz initially got him a fight in Stockton, California. That was in September 2005. The fight was going along well for Gabi until it was stopped in the 4th round due to a cut on Gabi's eyebrow. Being ahead on points, Gabi was given a "technical decision" win over his Mexico foe, Jose Alfredo Tirado. Tirado, incidentally is the same fighter that later on lost to Z Gorres via a UD over an exciting 10 round fight at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas in February 2006.

While healing, Gabi stayed with Michael Koncz at his house in Orange County. Koncz, believing in the ability of Gabi as a fighter, took him in as his own son. He patiently took Gabi on a daily 2 hour trip to Hollywood to train at the Wildcard Gym with Freddie Roach with the hope of honing his skills and preparing him for anything that comes around.

In the meantime, Koncz was busy looking for an opportunity for Gabi to fight again. That opportunity came in form of a title fight for the IBF/IBC flyweight title against an undefeated brawler from Australia, Vic Darchinyan. The fight was scheduled at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynes California for ShowBox, March 3, 2006.

Of course by now, everyone know the story. Gabi lost via an 8th round knock-out delivered with a booming left hook from Darchinyan. After the fight, Gabi's face, particularly, the right side was swollen. There were fears that Darchinyan's blow fractured the jaw of Gabi. Koncz however, vehemently denied that Gabi suffered a fractured jaw. And, he said he had medical records to proved so. Be that as it may, Gabi is now back in intense training again, still under the watchful eyes of Freddie Roach. He even does not carry the old moniker of "Prince" anymore. He is now Diosdado "The Lion Heart" Gabi, a new nickname given by Koncz to show the kind of fighter Gabi really is.

Gabi's is now "on the road" again, so to speak. as Koncz once again came through with a fight schedule. Gabi is booked to tangle with Jose German Cruz of Mexico on Thursday, August 10, 2006 at the Orleans Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The 10-round fight described by PhilBoxing's Salven Lagumbay as a would be "slam-bang affair" is the supporting main event for the WBC junior flyweight title defense of Hawaiian-Filipino, Brian Viloria against the challenge of Omar Nino Romero of Mexico. A victory for Gabi, no matter how dramatic, will not erase the memory of Darchinyan. But, it certainly will be a good start to travel the long road again to an eventual title.

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