Boxing: Veteran Donaire contends with Gaballo and his age

Dennis Gasgonia ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 10 2021 11:21 PM

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It's going to experience versus youth when reigning WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. clashes with Reymart Gaballo in their all-Filipino world title fight this weekend.

Veteran boxing analyst Atty. Ed Tolentino is expecting a clash of styles between the two Filipino combatants who will square off at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. 

"'Yung style ni Gaballo na-encounter na ni Donaire in his illustrious career. Hindi bago sa kanya 'yan," Tolentino said, referring to Gaballo's preference for phone-booth exchanges.

"Pero si Gaballo 'yung style ni Donaire medyo maninibago siya. Si Donaire kasi mahirap to figure out 'yung style nito. He loves to jab, he loves to counter, may step back move siya."

"In fighter kasi itong si Gaballo, itong si Donaire may kaunting movement kaunting counter, so magandang laban ito."

Tolentino added that experience also favors Donaire who has already seen many wars with a pro record of 41-6. He is a four-division champion with victories over Vic Darchinyan, Moruti Mthalane, and Fernando Montiel.

He also found a resurgence in the bantamweight class, even giving Japanese champion Naoya Inoue a tough match in 2019.

In his most recent fight, Donaire claimed the WBC world bantamweight title at age 38 with a sensational fourth round knockout of Nordine Oubaali to become the oldest world champion ever at 118 pounds. 

The only factor that might play against Donaire is his age. 

"Nandyan 'yung age factor... he''s now 39 pushing 40, so hindi natin alam kung magba-bog down siya anytime," said Tolentino.

"Ang maganda kay Gaballo he needs to try to drag this fight into the middle rounds, kasi alam natin ang kalakasan ni Donaire ay in the early rounds."