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Sports

No weight problems for Donaire, Gaballo

Dino Maragay - Philstar.com
No weight problems for Donaire, Gaballo
WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. and challenger Reymart Gaballo pose after making weight.
Showtime Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Unlike his fellow Filipino who is also a champion in the stacked 118-pound division, Nonito Donaire Jr. breezed past the scales to ensure that his WBC bantamweight title defense against compatriot Reymart Gaballo is a go at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).

Donaire, 39, continued to defy Father Time as he tipped the scales at 117.2 pounds — a testament to the hard work he has put in over the years — in a bid to defend the world championship he originally won more than a decade ago, lost along the way, and later regained in his last fight in May this year.

In contrast, Donaire’s fellow bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero, who was originally set to defend the WBO version of the crown, couldn’t fulfil his end of the bargain. The 31-year-old Casimero failed to make weight, effectively removing himself from his title defense against the UK’s Paul Butler in Dubai and putting his ownership of the belt in jeopardy. 

For his part, Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs), who had reached as high as the featherweight division (126 pounds), barely had trouble hurdling the bantamweight scales and expressed his readiness against Gaballo.

“I feel great, man. I feel amazing. We're very ready for this fight. Just prepared. 100 percent,” said the Filipino-American fighter, who will make the first defense of the title he regained from Frenchman Nordine Oubaali via a vintage knockout victory also at the same venue about seven months ago.

The undefeated Gaballo (24-0, 20 KOs) weighed in at 117 pounds, later on stressing his gratefulness for the chance to face his “idol” in Donaire. 

“It's a dream to fight someone's idol in the ring,” the Filipino prospect said in a report by Los Angeles-based ABS-CBN correspondent Steve Angeles.

Donaire and Gaballo had been nothing but cordial and respectful to each other throughout fight week, with the former even helping the latter translate during the final press conference the other day.

But by opening bell today, the courtesies would be thrown out of the window as they try to knock each other’s heads off in this rare all-Filipino title clash.

BOXING

NONITO DONAIRE

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