WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (42-6, 28 KOs0 landed a picture-perfect left hook body shot to score a fourth round knockout of challenger Reymark Gaballo on Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The previously undefeated Gaballo (24-1, 20 KOs) went down immediately after getting hit with a left to the liver and a right to the head from the 39-year-old Donaire in the fourth.
Although the 25-year-old Gaballo briefly made it to his feet, the pain from the body shot immediately led to him going back down.
You can say that Gaballo knew that if he did fight under those conditions with him likely feeling seeing pain from his midsection, Donaire would have finished him right away with another equally painful body shot.
Donaire saw the opening for the body shot
Moments before Donaire landed the fight-ending body shot, Gaballo had nailed him with a hard right hand on the chin. The shot knocked Donaire slightly off-balance due to the power on it, but he came back right away with a left hook to the liver to drop Gaballo.
At the post-fight press conference, Donaire revealed that his kids had been shouting at him from the audience to throw a body shot, and when he accommodated them, the fight was over.
“He was powerful too. I didn’t expect him to be that strong,” said Donaire about Gaballo. “He tried to sit down and brawl with me, and that was not in my expectation.
“He was showing what he was throwing, so I was able to block a lot of it. I thought he fought a great fight, but our strategy was better,” said Donaire. “My future would be one belt, two belts, three belts, and four belts.
“That’s my ultimate goal, but there are things that we can’t foresee,” said Donaire about his hopes to move down to 115 to take on the winner of the Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez fight.
“I was 116 yesterday, so I had to go up and drink some water. That’s not the first time I went to 116, so I know I can make it happen [at 115 for Estrada vs. Chocolatito 3 winner],” said Donaire.
If Donaire can’t get a unification fight against IBF/WBA bantamweight champion Naoya ‘Monster] Inoue or WBO champion John Riel Casimero, moving down to 115 to challenge the winner of the Estrada vs. Chocolatito 3 fight would be a great option for him, as long as he can make weight.
Nonito’s win over Reymark Gaballo was the first defense of his WBC 118-lb title that he won last May with a fourth round knockout win over Nordine Qubaali.
Donaire, 39, has found the Fountain of Youth in the last year after suffering a 12 round unanimous decision loss to Naoya Inoue in November 2019 in the World Boxing Super Series. In Donaire’s last two fights, he’s scored a pair of fourth round knockouts.