Boxing: Here’s how Pinoy fighter Reymart Gaballo can do a Pacquiao in US debut

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 19 2020 02:47 AM

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Nineteen years ago, Manny Pacquiao got his break when he was asked to step in as a replacement fighter opposite IBF super bantamweight champion Lehlo Ledwaba.

It was this fight that launched the then-unknown Pacquiao into international stardom, as he gave the South African titlist an impressive 6-round beating.

Fight analyst Dennis Principe said Reymart Gaballo could be in the same situation.

The unbeaten Gaballo from Polomolok town, South Cotabato, will go up against a former world champion in Puerto Rico's Emmanuel Rodriguez this Saturday (US time) at Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut.

It will be for the interim WBC bantamweight crown. 

Gaballo was called on short notice to replace Nonito Donaire Jr., who allegedly tested positive for COVID-19.

"Kung titignan natin from the part of Reymart Gaballo, magandang pagkunan 'yan rin ng inspiration ('yung Pacquiao fight)," said Principe.

"Manny Pacquiao for one has seen his break last minute din when he fought Ledwaba for the IBF super flyweight championship."

Although, Gaballo has more fights under his belt (23-0), Rodriguez (19-1) has experienced owning a legitimate world title.

He was the IBF bantamweight champion before getting knocked out in just 2 rounds by the heavy hitting Naoya Inoue in 2019.

"May lamang ng kaunti pagdating ng rankings si Rodriguez. For one, he was able to cop a legitimate championship . . . He fought Inoue hindi lang tumagal," said Principe. "Pwedeng maging test of character yan kay Rodriguez, this is the test na crucial para sa kanya itong laban kay Gaballo."

Principe said Gaballo should take advantage of this. He said Rodriguez might still be carrying the trauma of his knockout loss.

"Kay Gaballo, how can he take advantage of that knowing that yung kanyang kalaban while experienced, supposedly coming off a bout na nasiraan ng loob coming out of his knockout loss? I like the chances of Reymart Gaballo," he added.