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SPORTS SHORTS 238: NONITO DONAIRE HAS NO PLANS OF FOLLOWING MANNY PACQUIAO'S RETIREMENT


PhilBoxing.com




Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire is now the most popular and the top multi-title active Filipino world boxing campaigner since Manny Pacquiao has officially announced his retirement.

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The 38-year-old Donaire clarified that he has no immediate plans of following Pacquiao's departure. But he supports the senator's decision to hang up his gloves for good.

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"It's really difficult for a fighter to do what he did and it just shows where he wants to be, the passion that he has for whatever he wants to do next. To be courageous enough to say the things he did, you have to respect that," Donaire told ABS-CBN News.

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Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs) also reported that he is close to finalizing his mandatory defense against challenger WBC interim champion Reymart Gaballo of Polomolok, South Cotabato. "We are finalizing the negotiations... December 11, I think, is what they’re saying but again all of it has to be finalized and signed."

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Because of Covid-19, Donaire's title fight with WBC champion Nordine Oubaali was cancelled. Gaballo and Emmanuel Rodriguez were tapped as substitute fighters for the WBC interim title and Gaballo won a controversial split decision. Donaire then successfully dethroned Oubaali when they finally collided last May 29.

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Reymart "Assassin" Gaballo (24-0, 20 KOs) of General Santos City who replaced Donaire on short notice decisioned Rodriguez, who also substituted Oubaali. Gaballo got the favor of John McKaie who scored 115-113 and Don Trella who saw it at 116-112, while Rodriguez won the third card from David Sutherland who had it 118-110.

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Donaire had talks for a possible all-Filipino world title unification with WBO champion John Riel Casimero. But verbal exchanges between the two camps prevented the fight to happen as of now.

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"Things happen and turn for some typical reasons, but it is what it is and we’re here now," Donaire said.

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In the meantime, Donaire said he looks forward to his all-Filipino world title fight against the 25-year-old Gaballo, who described Donaire as his idol.

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“I’m so happy and glad to fight my idol Nonito Donaire. So hopefully it will be a good fight,” Gaballo was quoted by The Ring in an interview in Miami, where he is currently training under the watch of coach Osmiri “Moro” Fernandez.

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Donaire portrayed Gaballo as a nice and respectful kid. "I really respect the kid. He’s going to do his best... but I’m always going to be ready for it."

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On the other hand, Casimero is set to defend his title against the WBO mandatory challenger Paul Butler of Ellesmere Port, England. Their fight is also scheduled on December 11, in either the UK or the Middle East.

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For Donaire, the all-Filipino duel for the world title is good for Philippine boxing. "It's a blessing. Filipino versus Filipino. It's a win-win situation," said the 38-year-old Donaire during the 3rd Philippine Professional Sports Summit last Wednesday.

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The fight's date and venue have no definite schedule yet, but Donaire stated he is always ready to fight and will continue training this week. "We must always be ready anytime," said Donaire. "Always stay in shape, stay focused and continue to work hard."

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During the Philippine Professional Sports Summit, sponsored by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) done virtually, Donaire said he supports the mandatory drug testing implemented by the GAB to all active boxers.

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"It is important we are all clean in boxing because we put our lives on the line every time we fight,' said Donaire. 'I praised the GAB for its compassion in making sure the boxers are healthy before and after the fight. What is doing for boxing in the face of a pandemic is a feat in itself."

* * *

According to Fadeaway World, the new-look Los Angeles Lakers are perhaps the most revamped squad in the NBA. They made some key additions in Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, Kris Dunn, and Malik Monk.

* * *

Plus LeBron James and Anthony Davis and they are always going to be a clear-cut favorite to win it all. Besides whether they fit themselves on the court, the biggest question mark is whether they could stay healthy, since they are much older than league age team average. Without injuries, however, they are the team to beat in the West.

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The same source said that the Brooklyn Nets which almost beat the Milwaukee Bucks team that eventually won the NBA Championship. And that team was playing with an injured James Harden and without Kyrie Irving on the floor. The scariest part for the opponents is that they are getting better.

* * *

The Nets added some backcourt depth in Patty Mills, got LaMarcus Aldridge back, and also signed Paul Millsap. And every team which has Kevin Durant at the lineup is going to be a big title candidate, and the Nets have a video-game-like roster no other team will want to go against, added Fadeaway World.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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