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Donaire: Win-win situation for Filipinos
THE all-Filipino title fight between World Boxing Council bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire and interim champion Reymart Gaballo will be a win-win situation for Philippine boxing.
Donaire, nicknamed the “Filipino Flash” due to his lightning-quick speed and punching power, welcomed the decision of the WBC to order a mandatory title fight between him and Gaballo later this year.
The 38-year-old Filipino American champion, who boasts of an impressive 41-6 win-loss record in a colorful 20-year career, believes Philippine biggest winner in their coming all-Filipino title clash.
“It’s a blessing, it’s a win-win situation to have a Filipino versus Filipino for the world title,” said Donaire during his cameo appearance in the highly-successful third Philippine Professional Sports Summit organized by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) last Sept. 29.
Donaire, who became only the sixth boxer in history after Evander Holyfield, Manny Pacquiao, Bernard Hopkins, Érik Morales, and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
to win world titles in three consecutive decades in 2000s, 2010s and 2020s, said he will soon start training camp for the December title fight against Gaballo.
The pride of Talibon, Bohol captured the WBC crown with a stunning fourth-round knockout win over Nordine Oubaali of France in Carson, California last May 19.
He was supposed to defend the title against another Filipino fighter John Riel Casimero, but personal conflicts between the two forced the cancellation of their 118-pound battle.
Against Gaballo, Donaire plans to begin training soon under the watchful eyes of his wife-head trainer Rachel Donaire.
“All in all, I wouldn’t be what I am without my wife,” said Donaire, referring to his wife Rachel, who was picked “Trainer of the Year” by the WBC.
His opponent, Gaballo, is no pushover.
The 25-year-old fighter from Polomolok is coming off a split decision victory over Emmanuel Rodriguez last December
He holds a ring record of 24-0, including 20 by knockouts.
Donaire also told participants of the one-day online sports summit organized by GAB under Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra and Commissioners Mar Masanguid and Eduard Trinidad that he fully supports the mandatory drug testing imposed by the GAB to all boxers.
“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,”he added.
Donaire was one of the biggest personalities in local boxing who participated in the summit, the third to be held under Mitra.
Among those present were Brico Santig of Highland Boxing Promotions, Jim Claude Manangquil of Sanman Promotions, Charlemagne Marban III of Marban Promotions, Atty. Danrex Tapdasan of the Association of Philippine Professional Boxing Ring Officials (APPBRO), Alberto “Brembot” Dulalas of Mindanao Professional Boxing Officials Association, boxing judge-ring announcer Romulo Marlou J. Neri, and Visayas boxing referee Nicholas Banal.