Donaire KOs Gaballo in 4th, retains WBO bantamweight title
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire defied age by knocking out a much younger Reymart Gaballo in the fourth round of their all-Filipino world title duel at the Dignity Health and Sports Park in Carson City, California, USA, on Saturday, December 11 (December 12 Manila Time).
A liver shot courtesy of Donaire’s signature left hook downed Gaballo in the final seconds of the fourth round.
Gaballo, grimacing in pain, tried to beat the referee’s count by standing back up, but the punch was too devastating for him. He went back down on his knees, prompting the referee to stop the bout at 2:59 of round four.
The 39-year-old Donaire defended the World Boxing Council (WBC) world bantamweight title in the process.
The 25-year-old Gaballo, the pride of Sanman Boxing Gym, had his own fair share of good moments in their short-lived bout.
Gaballo, the interim world champion, came out aggressively in the second and third rounds, tagging Donaire with combinations.
Donaire banked on counter-punches and was able to slip in right straights, which eventually resulted in a small cut on Gaballo’s right eyebrow.
Both boxers also had furious exchanges of combinations on several occasions that electrified the crowd at the Dignity Health and Sports Park.
In total, Donaire landed 38 of his 136 punches thrown while Gaballo connected 35 out of 170.
Donaire connected 26 of his 73 power shots, while Gaballo had 17 out of 84.
Donaire clearly intended to take down Gaballo through the body. He landed 13 body shots while Gaballo only had six.
With the victory, Donaire’s renaissance in boxing continues by logging his 42nd victory and 28th knockout along with six defeats.
Gaballo suffered his first loss as a pro boxer with 24 wins and 20 knockouts. He was the first Filipino opponent for Donaire since 2002.
During the post-fight interview, Donaire said that there was no way for him but to unify the bantamweight division titles.
It means that he must fight WBA bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue or WBO bantamweight king Johnriel Casimero.
Donaire added that he left the decision to his promoter Richard Schaefer of Probellum about the world title unification.
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