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News  


GABI ENGAGES WORLD CHAMP KIRILOV IN ‘SPIRITED’ EXCHANGE OF BLOWS


PhilBoxing.com


LOS ANGELES, California – A prelude to actual world championship fight.

This was the common suggestion made by those who witnessed the “spirited” exchange of blows between reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight champion Dimitri Kirilov and Filipino Diosdado “The Prince” Gabi after a four-round sparring session at the Wild Card gym in Hollywood Monday afternoon.


“The punches were real and the intention to hurt was there,” commented Khabir Suleymanov, a Russian bantamweight prospect now residing in Brooklyn, New York, who also sparred with Kirilov (29-3, 9 KOs).

“We are watching the prelude of an actual world championship fight between these two hard-hitting small fighters,” said Armando Ramos, a boxing journalist.

“Kung championship ang laban namin, kakayanin ko ang mga suntok niya. Dalawang bises na kaming nag spar ni Kirilov,” quipped Gabi (30-4, 21 KOs), who lost by 8th round technical knockout (TKO) in a world title duel on March 3, 2006 in Santa Ynez, Califronia to former world champion Vic Darchinyan (29-1, 23 KOs), Kirilov’s challenger on August 2 at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington.

Suleymanov (5-0, 2 KOs), taller by two inches to Kirilov, was tapped to bombard with head blows the 29-year-old world champion from St. Petersburg, Russia in the first phase of a four-round sparring.

“Kirilov can absorb my punches; the best punches that I thrown at him. I think he is prepared to defend his crown against Darchinyan,” said Suleymanov, who won by split decision against Alexander Mercado at the Orleans and Casino Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 26.

Darchinyan, who lost his crown to Filipino Nonito Donaire Jr by 5th round TKO in Connecticut on July 7 last year, earned a shot at Kirilov’s crown after he was declared the mandatory challenger following a controversial draw with Filipino Z Gorres at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City, Philippines on February 2.

Gabi’s business manager Michael Koncz, meanwhile, said he is still interested to help book Gabi in September if the 28-year-old fighter from Lasang, Davao, Philippines will agree to his terms.

Koncz said Gabi can still pick the pieces of his stunning second round disposal loss to Abner Mares in the undercard of the Juan Manuel Marquez versus Manny Pacquiao 12-round duel dubbed “Unfinished Business” for the WBC super featherweight title in Las Vegas on March 15.

It was Koncz who charted Gabi’s career in the United States when he silently “pirated” the diminutive pug from former North Cotabato Gov. Manny Pinol in 2005.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Alex P. Vidal.


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