We don’t quite know exactly how it is being done by 🇵🇭Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire (42-6-0, 28KO), but he looks even fresher now than he did in the WBSS final 2 years ago, and his opponent tonight 🇵🇭Reymart Gaballo (24-1-0, 20KO) got the full brunt of the revamped Donaire experience, and was stopped emphatically in the 4th round by the Filipino legend.
Customary to Nonito, he went over quickly to check on the condition of the fallen fighter – a man that idolized him, and basked in his victory to follow, getting his first title defense in his current resurgence factor in the division. Perhaps Nonito really did find the fountain of youth? because this is starting to look close to what he was in his prime days.
Nonito Donaire, dawning the Goku themed trunks and gloves, was constantly coiled like a cobra in this bout. He made it a priority to carefully place his left hooks from range, and putting leverage on the uppercut whenever Gaballo crouched down looking to leap in to get his offense off.
The contest was more of a thinking man’s game, which of course favored the 39 year old veteran, who has seen a little bit of everything during his long, storied, tenured journey. Reymart Gaballo kept trying to sling up with the uppercut from the crouching position, but wasn’t close enough to make contact. A powerful Gaballo right hand did momentarily rock the legs of Nonito – his best punch of the fight. Nonito returned with his own right hand to regain some respect.
The fourth round, they fought toe to toe in many high paced skirmishes. Donaire looked especially sharp today with his reflexes, speed, snap on his punches, and footwork throughout the entire contest – eerily similar to him during his prime days (has he actually returned to that state to defy conventional wisdom?).
As Gaballo darted in, Donaire landed a perfect shovel left hook to the liver that crippled Reymart, dropping down to his knee, screaming in pain.
He decided to take the 8-count from Referee Ray Corona, but as he got up, he went back down from the excruciating pain that he still felt in the moment, and would not beat the count.
Donaire jumped on the ropes in celebratory fashion, letting out a scream for the people at Dignity Health Sports Park to hear in the back. This was Gaballo’s “official” first loss, as Donaire picked up his first defense of this iteration of the WBC Bantamweight belt.
EYES ON THE PRIZE FOR NONITO DONAIRE, THE AGING / NOT SO AGING WONDER
The Filipino Flash, now 39 years of age, can now clear his schedule for either a potential match with fellow countryman 🇵🇭John Riel Casimero in his quest to unify WBC and WBO titles, or for Nonito him to get his monumental rematch with thee Bantamweight Champion of the World 🇯🇵Naoya Inoue.
As far as Nonito’s plans, he and Casimero were supposed to have their fights on the same day, to line everything up with synchronicity leading up to their blockbuster bout, but Casimero had to cancel his fight last minute. Who knows if he will try to take a tune-up fight just to get some action in, but him pulling out of his fight slightly complicates the calendar, but it can’t be used off of the table as of yet.
It is pedal to the medal for the all time Filipino great, so if Casimero is off the table, then there’s an open available to target Inoue to unify 4 of the 5 Bantamweight title belts after Inoue takes his tune up bout in a few days.
The goal is Undisputed, so the list is short of potential opponents that Donaire will want, in order to achieve the one goal that still fuels him at this advanced age, heavily contributing to the resurgence that we have been witnessing after looking like a shot fighter 5 years ago, to once again being a feared commodity through the entire Bantamweight picture that the rest have to see.