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Gabi KOs Rivas in First Round


PhilBoxing.com




TUCSON, Arizona--Diosdado "Prince" Gabi Jr. fulfilled his promise of ending his battle against young Felipe Rivas early to avoid a risky path to victory, winning by technical knockout at the end of the first round at the Desert Diamond Casino here.

Facing Rivas, a local crowd favorite based in nearby Phoenix and hailing from the border town of Nogales, Mexico 80 miles away, Gabi showed his worth as a possible world title contender again by disposing of his opponent with a powerful body shot that sent his opponent writhing in pain, complaining of back pain in his spinal column.

Midway into the first round, the ringside physician allowed Rivas to continue, knowing that there was no spinal fracture and that the pain was caused by a legitimate blow to the side of the body.

After the end of the first round, Gabi leapt with joy as Rivas failed to show up in the second round, still complaining of pain, even as Freddie Roach, Gabi's trainer and manager, congratulated his fighter for scoring another first round knockout.

"Nagpapasalamat ako sa Panginoon, sa aking pamilya, sa mga taong tumulong sa akin kasama na si Governor Pinol. Inaalay ko ang panalo ko sa aking mga kababayan," said Gabi, who also knocked out former three-time, two-division champion Mauricio Pastrana last August.

"I see a bright future in Gabi because he works hard in the gym. He really is impressive and I am excited," said Roach, who got ample help from Buboy Fernandez, who oversaw pre-fight conditioning.

Rivas, a young 22-year-old orthodox fighter, landed a right hook to the head but that proved to be his best shot of the evening as Gabi's southpaw style and three-inch reach advantage proved too much.

The win, his first fight under Golden Boy Promotions which signed him to a three-year contract, raised Gabi's record to 28-3-1 with 20 KOs and he is expected to fight a bigger match in early December and possibly a world title challenge in the early part of 2007.

"Miss na miss ko na ang pamilya ko kaya uuwi muna ako pero babalik din kaagad. Second birthday ng anak ko na si Prince at gusto ko nandoon ako sa tabi niya kapag nag-celebrate siya. Hindi ko pa siya nakikita mula noong ipinanganak siya," said the 27-year-old pride of Lasang, Davao City, who has been in the US for a year and two months now.

Gabi failed in his first bid at a world title against Vic Darchinyan after his handler fed his french fries hours before the fight even after the weigh-in, which may have gravely contributed to his loss.

This time around, under the watchful eye of Fernandez and some friends, Gabi's weight was put in check and his career has been sailing smoothly, training without pressure and anxiety and sleeping more soundly.

In the main event, Oscar Larios won his comeback fight after losing to Manny Pacquiao in July in Manila, knocking out Nicaraguan Roberto Bonilla in the sixth.

Scottish fighter Craig McEwan, a fighter also trained and managed by Roach, also won by unanimous decision, making everyone in the camp happy as they head back to Los Angeles to resume training of Pacquiao and former world champion Gerry Penalosa, among many other fighters.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Winchell Campos.


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