By Adrian Stewart Co
Nonito Donaire Jr. retained the WBC world bantamweight championship with a fourth round stoppage win over fellow Filipino Reymart Gaballo on Saturday night (Sunday in the Philippines) at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The Talibon, Bohol-native Donaire made his first successful defense of his world championship after knocking down mandatory challenger Gaballo at the start of the fourth round with a vicious left hook to the liver.
“I expected something different from him, but he came out so much different than what I thought,” Donaire said. “I told him not to be down because he is a great fighter. In fact I am having trouble figuring him out.”
With his second consecutive stoppage win, the 39-year-old Donaire hopes to have a unification rematch with WBA and IBF world champions Naoya Inoue of Japan. Donaire lost to Inoue during their first encounter in 2019.
“Unified. That’s what we’re looking for. That’s what we’re going for. I wanted to be the unified world bantamweight champion,” Donaire said. “I am certain that (my promoter) Richard Schaefer will be able to figure out how to make the rematch happen.”
With the victory, Donaire improved his boxing record to 42-6-0 win-loss-draw while also notching his 28th stoppage win. Gaballo suffered his first defeat to drop to 24-1-0, including 20 KO wins.
In the undercard, Filipino Marlon Tapales (35-3-0, 18 KOs) emerged victorious over Japanese Hiroaki Teshigawara (22-3-2, 15 KOs) with a second round stoppage win in the IBF super bantamweight title eliminator match.
NEGRENSE NIETES SETTLES FOR DRAW
Meanwhile, Negrense Donnie Nietes settled for a draw against Norbelto Jimenez of the Dominican Republic in an eliminator for the WBA super flyweight title on Saturday at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, UAE.
One judge scored the fight 96-94 for the Murcia, Negros Occidental-native Nietes, another one scored it 96-94 for Jimenez, and the third judge saw it 95-95, leading to the draw.
Filipino boxer Jayson Mama, for his part, failed to clinch the IBF world flyweight championship following a lopsided unanimous decision loss to titleholder Sunny Edwards.
Mama, who suffered his first loss in 17 matches, tried to keep in step but Edwards was so dominant that he handily got the 117-110, 118-109, and 118-109 scores from the three judges./ASC, WDJ