FILIPINO superstar Nonito Donaire Jr. faces fellow Filipino Reymart Gaballo in a mandatory fight for the World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight title fight on Dec. 11, 2021 in a Showtime televised event at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Donaire Jr. is the WBC bantamweight champion, while Gaballo is the interim WBC bantamweight titleholder.
The 38-year-old Donaire Jr. had a recent resurgence of his career after winning the WBC bantamweight belt with a fourth round knockout over previously unbeaten Nordine Oubaali on May 29 to become the oldest fighter to win a bantamweight world title.
Before his win over Oubaali, Donaire Jr. fought Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series in Saitama, Japan in 2019. He put on a gallant stand but lost to Inoue by unanimous decision in a World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight title unification.
Donaire, who’ll be turning 39 on Nov. 16, wants to unify all the belts in the bantamweight division. He was supposed to unify his WBC belt with World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight king Johnriel Casimero but the fight fell through. Casimero will face mandatory challenger Paul Butler also on Dec. 11.
A rematch with Inoue is also one of the fights that Donaire Jr. is targeting if ever he gets past Gaballo.
Gaballo is a fast-rising unbeaten bantamweight from Polomolok. He became the interim WBC bantamweight title holder after beating former world champion Emmanuel Rodriguez by split decision on Dec. 19, 2020 in Connecticut.
The 25-year-old Gaballo, who fights out of the Sanman Gym in Gen. Santos City, is in for the toughest fight of his life against Donaire Jr. A win over Donaire Jr. should catapult him to stardom.
Donaire Jr., a world champion in four different weight classes, is 41-6 with 27 knockouts, while Gaballo is 24-0 with 20 knockouts.