Nonito Donaire vs Reymart Gaballo: Preview and prediction
Nonito Donaire returns Saturday night on Showtime. The “Filipino Lightning” will face up-and-comer Reymart Gaballos at bantamweight.
Donaire’s WBC bantamweight gold is on the line. The 39-year-old fighter is coming off a knockout win over Nordine Oubaali to capture the title and prepare for the headlining bout against Gaballo.
Let’s take a look at what we can expect on Saturday night.
Nonito Donaire vs. Reymart Gaballo: Preview
Nonito Donaire is an ageless wonder. While it’s not unheard of for a fighter approaching 40 to be in title contention, it happens less as you move down in weight class. With each passing fight, Donaire breaks that trend and makes history.
Donaire, 39, was written off by many in 2018 after his loss to Carl Frampton. He had lost two of his three most recent fights, and was simply getting older. However, Donaire has since claimed his prime in an unconventional career arc.
The future Hall of Famer is 3-1 since the Frampton setback. His only loss came to Naoya Inoue in 2019, in one of the best fights of the last decade. Donaire has become a benchmark of consistency, while his opponent has been anything but.
Reymart Gaballo is 25 years old, and has only recently been in the limelight. His win over Emmanuel Rodriguez in December 2020 saw him claim the interim WBC bantamweight strap and has launched the youngster into this fight with Donaire.
Nonito Donaire vs. Reymart Gaballo: Prediction
Most boxing experts tend to say that punching power is the last thing to go, and that couldn’t be truer for Donaire. He still has rare game-changing power at bantamweight, as demonstrated in his last win over Oubaali.
However, Donaire has much more than power these days. The “Filipino Lightning” still has lightning quick hands, and is very good at cutting off the ring to work. Donaire’s chin also holds up under fire, as proven in his 2019 war against Inoue. That said, one of Donaire’s biggest problems may be his over-reliance on his chin, which could always cost him.
Gaballo may be unproven, but the skill is clearly there. He is a big volume puncher who is defensively competent. His last win over Rodriguez was controversial, so that may be a big disadvantage against Donaire.
Biases aside, Gaballo is a tough opponent for anyone. However, this fight is likely too soon for him. The upstart has taken on a big challenge in facing Donaire, and he has likely bitten off more than he can chew.
Nonito Donaire is going to get the win on Saturday night, but it’s not going to be easy. Reymart Gaballo is a young, skilled guy who has speed and age on his side.
However, Donaire’s veteran years will be too much for him on Saturday. Gaballo will see the cards, but he’s not going to like the scores that come his way.
Prediction: Nonito Donaire by decision.