Filipino boxers

KO artist Gaballo tackles Velasquez in undercard of Donaire-Rodriguez

Roy Luarca

UNBEATEN. Reymart Gaballo is undefeated in 23 fights with 20 knockouts.

Photo by Alvin S. Go/Rappler

Filipino Reymart Gaballo stakes his spotless record against Chilean Jose Velasquez

Power-punching Filipino Reymart Gaballo gets the big international break he has long been waiting for when he tangles with dangerous Chilean Jose Velasquez on Saturday, December 19 (Sunday, December 20, Manila time) at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Gaballo, unbeaten after 23 fights with 20 knockouts, and Velasquez (28-6-2, 19 KOs) will dispute the World Boxing Association interim bantamweight crown, according to multiple reports from Chile.

The bout will serve as chief support to “Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire’s World Boxing Council 118-pound title clash with Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez.

The 24-year-old Gaballo, the pride of Sanman Promotions, has stopped his last 4 opponents and will be the slight favorite over Velasquez, who is 7 years older.

At 5-foot-6, Gaballo will be 3 1/2 inches taller than Velasquez, who has won his last 17 fights since 2016.

Though Gaballo owns the better knockout rate, Velasquez also wields power as can be gleaned from his ninth-round stoppage of erstwhile unbeaten Melvin Lopez of Nicaragua last year.

Like Velasquez, Gaballo is in Miami, Florida with the General Santos City resident training under Cuban Osmiri Fernandez.

Donaire was supposed to tangle with Nordine Oubaali, but the Frenchman contracted the coronavirus and pulled out of the 12-rounder.

Despite the second-round demolition dealt him by Naoya Inoue, Rodriguez was chosen as a substitute by the WBC, which declared Oubaali as champion in recess.

As a result, the winner between Donaire and Rodriguez will get a title crack against Oubaali early next year.

More lucrative fights are in store for Gaballo if he passes the Velasquez test. –