Sun.Star Baguio

Gaballo faces Velasquez for interim WBA belt

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HARD- HITTING Reymart Gaballo gets another crack at the interim World Boxing Associatio­n (WBA) bantamweig­ht belt as he takes on Chilean veteran Jose Velasquez on Dec. 20 (PH time) at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticu­t.

Gaballo was once the interim WBA bantamweig­ht champion after he knocked down and beat highly regarded Stephon Young via a lopsided unanimous decision in 2018. After failing to defend his interim belt, Gaballo lost his title.

Now ranked No. 1 by the WBA, the 24year-old Gaballo hopes to reclaim the belt he once held, hopefully earning a shot at the regular title, which is currently held by Guillermo Rigondeuex.

But before looking forward into the future, Gaballo will have his hands full against Velasquez, who’s currently rated No. 11 by the WBA.

The 31-year-old Velasquez had an awful start to his career, tallying a record of eight wins, six losses and

two draws.

After his last defeat in 2016, Velasquez has had an impressive run, winning his last 20 contests that earned him a spot in the world rankings. One of his victims in that 20-fight winning streak was Melvin Lopez, who trained with Gaballo under Osmiri “Moro” Fernandez. He stopped Lopez in nine rounds last year.

Gaballo has not seen action since stopping Chaiwat Buatkratho­k in the sixth round on Dec. 14 at The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex in Parañaque City. He, however, has been training practicall­y the whole year at the Moro’s Gym in Miami, Florida.

Gaballo has an impressive record of 23-0 with 20 knockouts, while Velasquez is 286-2 with 19 knockouts.

The Gaballo vs. Velasquez fight is one of the main features of the blockbuste­r boxing show that will be headlined by a World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweig­ht fight between Filipino star Nonito Donaire Jr. (40-6, 26 KOs) vs. former world champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (191, 12 KOs).

 ?? Photo by Milo Brioso ?? FOR HEALTH. Former boxing national coach Glicerio Catolico (left) works the mitts with fitness guru and Gintong Alay boxer Danilo Quinto(right) at Burnham Park as both defy their age to stay fit amid the threat of Covid - 19.
Photo by Milo Brioso FOR HEALTH. Former boxing national coach Glicerio Catolico (left) works the mitts with fitness guru and Gintong Alay boxer Danilo Quinto(right) at Burnham Park as both defy their age to stay fit amid the threat of Covid - 19.

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