Gabi Faces Rivas in Larios Undercard
By Winchell Campos
Sat, 07 Oct 2006
TUCSON, Arizona--Diosdado "Prince" Gabi Jr. gets to show his wares on national US television when he takes on young local boy Felipe Rivas in the undercard of Oscar Larios' comeback fight Friday night (Saturday in Manila) at the Desert Diamond Casino in this border city here.
After hurdling Thursday's weigh-in and with the help of Manny Pacquiao's Filipino trainer Buboy Fernandez who lent his expertise in pre-fight conditioning, Gabi ended anxious moments in making weight and promised to put on an impressive show knowing that a huge audience will be watching.
Gabi faces Rivas, a 22-year-old fighter from nearby Phoenix, Arizona, who is an inch taller. The 5'2" Gabi, 29-3-1 (19 KOs), has a huge advantage in experience and a three-inch advantage in reach.
"Sana maganda ang ipapakita ko sa laban na ito. Inspired ako at sana ipagdasal ako ng mga kababayan ko dahil para sa kanila ang laban na ito," said Gabi, who turned 27 three weeks ago. "Mexicano ang kalaban ko kaya ini-expect ko na maganda ang laban na ito," said Gabi.
In his first fight under Golden Boy Promotions, Gabi came in at 115 1/2 pounds, just a shade over the contracted weight of 115 pounds. Since his fight is not a championship match, a one-pound allowance is allowed.
Superfeatherweight champion Marco Antonio Barrera, a partner of Golden Boy Promotions, led the ceremonies, even as Larios, the main attraction here, hurdled the 126-pound limit. He faces journeyman Roberto Bonilla.
Trainer and manager Freddie Roach is set to plane in before the fight which will be shown over the Telefutura channel and he expects Gabi to be on top of his game, having trained well at the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles.
"Excited na ako para lumaban at handa na ako. Gusto ko na ring umuwi dahil sabik na sabik na ako sa aking pamilya," said Gabi, who has been promised a bigger fight soon as well as a possible title shot in the near future.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Winchell Campos.
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