The World Boxing Council ordered bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire to face interim world title-holder and compatriot Reymart Gaballo, as reported by US media Monday (Tuesday in Manila).
This comes as the latest development for the 38-year-old Donaire, who won with a fourth-round knockout against Nordine Oubaali of France last May.
It was a bit of a surprise for the WBC to step in and order the fight between the Donaire – a US-based Filipino – and the unbeaten Gaballo, who hails from Polomolok in South Cotabato, because the “Filipino Flash” is actually looking at two possible fights.
One is a rematch against Naoya Inoue of Japan, the reigning World Boxing Association “super” world bantamweight and International Boxing Federation world bantamweight champion.
The other option for Donaire is a match against the flamboyant Filipino champion John Riel Casimero, the Ormoc city native who holds the World Boxing Organization bantamweight belt.
Nevertheless, it is something that excites the camp of Gaballo, whose handler, Sanman Boxing Promotions head JC Mananquil, posted a photo of the latest news on the fighters with a simple emoticon of ‘lit’ on his Facebook account.
The Manila Bulletin tried to contact Mananquil but he is not available for comment at press time.
Top Rank founder and CEO Bob Arum has been pushing for a Donaire-Inoue 2 following a sensational fight between the two that had the latter scoring a unanimous decision win in November 2019.
Donaire was supposed to face Casimero until both had a social media spat, which appeared to put the fight on hold.
The last time Donaire fought was in May 29 when he floored Oubaali, which improved his ring record to 41 wins, 27 by way of knockout with six losses – firmly cementing his status as one of the top boxers in the world.
As for Gaballo, he extended his win streak to 24 – 20 by KOs – when he came through with a split decision win against Emmanuel Rodriguez of Puerto Rico last December 19 in the US.