Reymart Gaballo savors close victory amid criticisms
MANILA, Philippines—Reymart Gaballo isn’t someone to dwell on the negativity that seemed to have marred the biggest achievement of his career.
The Filipino boxer outpointed Emmanuel Rodriguez to become the WBC interim bantamweight champion on Dec.19 with two of the judges giving him their nod while the other looked at the Puerto Rican as his victor.
Nevertheless, Gaballo walked out of Mohegan Sun Casino with the WBC’s green strap over his shoulders.
In an interview with Ring Magazine, Gaballo said he doesn’t mind what social media said about his bout or when Steve Farhood, Showtime Boxing’s unofficial judge, scored the fight 118-110 in favor of Rodriguez.
“For me it was a close fight,” said Gaballo. “Even though I’m coming forward, I’m always punching so maybe they look at me like I won the fight.”
“I was so blessed because with my hard work I got this one [the WBC belt].”
Rodriguez, who is four years the elder of the 24-year-old Gaballo, used his experience against Filipino, taking advantage of his opponent’s rapid and sometimes wild flurries to land crisp counters during the bout.
While Rodriguez countered, Gaballo charged in, convincing Filipino’s promoter Sean Gibbons that the General Santos City native is the winner of the fight.
“It wasn’t [Gaballo’s] fault that one guy tried to stink it out and he tried to make the fight,” said Gibbons in the same Ring report.
Gaballo (24-0, 20 knockouts), who had his four KO streak get snapped, already became the interim WBA bantamweight champion but he never became the sanctioning body’s full champion.
Unlike with what happened in his WBA reign, Gaballo will have the chance to be WBC’s full champion if he beats the winner between mandatory challenger Nonito Donaire Jr. and champion in recess Oubaali, the body’s champion in recess.
Before that happens, Gibbons said that there could be an option defense of the interim title.
“You never know, maybe an all-Filipino throwdown [against Donaire] or Reymart versus the Moroccan brother for the full title,” said the MP Promotions president.
As for Gaballo, he doesn’t mind whoever his opponent would be.
“For me, if they say you’re gonna fight this one, then I’m gonna fight them,” said Gaballo.
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