Donaire set sights on bantamweight unification

Published December 14, 2021, 1:08 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Unifying the four major bantamweight titles remains as the top priority for reigning WBC champion Nonito Donaire.

Nonito Donaire poses for a picture with promotor Richard Schaefer after a fourth round knockout win over Reymart Gaballo for the WBC World Bantamweight Championship at Dignity Health Sports Park on December 11, 2021 in Carson, California. (AFP)

After defying Father Time with a fourth-round knockout win against compatriot Reymart Gaballo, Donaire has put his full trust in his promoter Richard Schaefer of Probellum to materialize future unification bouts.

“What my future would be one belt, two belts, three belts, four belts,” said Donaire during the post-fight press conference, gesturing as if he’s displaying the four major belts. “And of course, the person that makes it happen would be Richard. That’s the priority.”

Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue currently owns the super WBA, IBF, and The Ring titles while John Riel Casimero is at risk of losing his WBO belt after backing out of his supposed title defense against English foe Paul Butler last Dec. 11 in Dubai.

The WBO had ordered Casimero to provide medical certification and medical record, among others, in a show cause order dated Dec. 10.

Casimero was unable to make the weight grade and had to pull out of the fight after being taken to the hospital while local reports disclosed that he suffered from “viral gastritis.”

Nonetheless, as for Donaire’s next steps, Schaefer is definitely up for the task.

“Well, we’re gonna have to see now with the WBO, it’s going to rule if the title is gonna come vacant or if there’s a way we can fight for the vacant title and unify those two,” said the long-time boxing promoter.

“Mr. [Akihiko] Honda is here, Inoue’s promoter, I had conversations with him before and tonight again so that’s a possibility out there.”

Donaire improved to a 42-6 record on top of his 28 knockouts with the win against Gaballo.