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Donaire going for KO


PhilBoxing.com





WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire, Jr. is gunning for a knockout over undefeated mandatory challenger Reymart Gaballo when they face off in a scheduled 12-round bout at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson City, Los Angeles County, on Dec. 11. It won’t matter to Donaire that he’s up against a countryman because in the ring, the Filipino Flash said he’s like a robot out to destroy his opponent regardless of whom he is.

“The beauty of this is we’re both Filipinos,” said Donaire. “So whoever wins, it will still be a Filipino champion. It’s a good time for Philippine boxing and I’m proud that two Filipinos are battling on the world stage. I’m training very hard for this fight. I’m fighting a guy who’s hungry for success and that makes him very dangerous. Reymart’s talented, strong with a good record. I’m reversing time, staying healthy and strong so I can show up 100 percent in the ring.” Donaire’s wife/manager/trainer Rachel said since both fighters are coming in with power, strategy will determine the outcome.

Donaire, 38, said he’s not looking past Gaballo. WBA super/IBF champion Naoya Inoue and WBO titlist JohnRiel Casimero can wait. At the moment, they’re not on his radar because his only focus is Gaballo. “We can be friends outside the ring, we can help each other out,” said Donaire. “I’m encouraging Reymart to train the hardest he can so we’ll give the fans a great fight. Once that bell rings, no more friends, I’m going for a knockout.”

Gaballo, 25, said he’s excited and happy that he’ll take on one of his all-time idols. “Gagawin ko ang makakaya ko sa ibabaw ng ring,” he said. “Handang handa na ako. Todo-todo ang training ko sa Miami mula ng dumating ako last August.”
Gaballo is training with SanMan stablemates John Vincent Moralde, Mark Bernaldez, Mike Plania and Romero Duno under Cuban mentor Moro Fernandez. Gaballo’s manager JC Manangquil, who’s based in General Santos City, said he met Fernandez about eight years ago, visited his gym in Miami, liked the Cuban school of boxing and decided to send his boxers over. “Reymart has always been an underdog even during his amateur days,” said Manangquil. “He loves being the underdog because it makes him fight harder. I’m confident Reymart will win the championship. This is his time. We respect Nonito but Reymart is out to win. It’s his chance to become a world champion.”

When Donaire turned pro in 2001, Gaballo was only five years old. And when Gaballo made his pro debut in 2014, Donaire was 31 and had already won world titles in four weight classes. The disparity in experience is reflected in their records. Donaire has logged 47 fights and Gaballo, 24. But Gaballo isn’t fazed. And Donaire isn’t taking Gaballo lightly.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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