Nonito Donaire vs. Reymart Gaballo Result
Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, USA – 11 December 2021
WBC Bantamweight World Champion and future Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire scored a fourth-round knockout over previously unbeaten Reymart Gaballo to successfully defend his title in the SHOWTIME main event Saturday night, headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
In an all-Filipino battle, Donaire (42-6, 28 KOs) continued to build up his Hall of Fame resume, landing his signature left hook, this time to the body, to end the fight eventually. Gaballo (24-1, 20 KOs) came out employing a high guard, clearly working to avoid that vaunted left hook.
“I’ve been in this game for such a long time, and I’ve had so many fights, I didn’t think I was going to have to feel him out,” said Donaire. “But he came out differently than I thought he would. He tried to nullify my left hook, but I just had to have no mercy.”
The four-division world champion in his second reign at 118 pounds, Donaire was able to remain patient as he searched for an opening for his preferred attack. Heeding the advice from his corner, Donaire found his spot for the left hook in the fourth round, connecting to the body and putting Gaballo down late in the round.
“My wife and my dad were telling me to go to the body,” said Donaire. “I had to set it up by bouncing up and down to open up that shot. I was throwing the right hand in the earlier rounds, and then he didn’t expect the left hook to the body.”
While Gaballo was able to rise to his feet after the blow momentarily, he quickly retreated to the floor, prompting referee Ray Corona to halt the bout 2:59 seconds into the round.
“I thought he was going to get up because I know he has a lot of heart, but that was a tremendous punch that landed,” said Donaire. “I just told him after the fight not to be down. Because he’s a great fighter. I had trouble figuring him out, and I’m here to help him with anything he needs the rest of his career.”
With his first defense of the WBC title under his belt, the 39-year-old Donaire will now seek a rematch against unified bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue after their 2019 Fight of the Year clash.
“It’s my team’s job to work on the rematch with Inoue,” said Donaire. “I believe my team is going to make it happen. I can keep fighting at this age because I have faith in myself and have a good lifestyle. There is no such thing as a cheat day. It’s a choice day, and it’s my choice to train and to be me.”
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