FORMER interim World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight king Reymart Gaballo keeps himself busy in a World Boxing Organization (WBO) Oriental bantamweight title defense against Michael Bravo on June 17, 2023 at the Elorde Sports Complex in Parañaque City.

“I can’t wait to step in the ring again. I have learned a lot of new stuff from my new coach Dodong Donaire. I hope to test them on my opponent. This is not a kind that should be taken lightly. I have prepared well for this and hopefully be on the way to bigger fights. I want to thank Sanman boxing, Sean Gibbons and Moros gym,” said Gaballo.

Training under the guidance of Nonito Donaire Sr., Gaballo believes that he’s improved a lot. He’ll show that in what should be a legitimate test in Bravo.

The 26-year-old Gaballo is an interim world champion in both the World Boxing Association (WBA) and the WBC. He snagged the interim WBA bantamweight belt with a lopsided unanimous decision over highly regarded Stephon Young in 2018.

He then fought Emmanuel Rodriguez for the interim WBC bantamweight belt and walked away with a unanimous decision in 2020. Gaballo then challenged fellow Pinoy Nonito Donaire Jr. for the regular WBC bantamweight belt but was knocked out in four rounds and suffered his first career defeat in 2021.

Gaballo bounced back the following year with a second-round stoppage of Ricardo Sueno and won the vacant WBC Asian Continental and WBO Oriental bantamweight belts.

Gaballo hopes that a win over Bravo could earn him bigger fights in the future and possibly a world title fight.

“Gaballo still has a lot of potential. We want to keep him busy and eye bigger fights again in the near future,” said Sanman Promotions chief operating officer JC Manangquil.

Gaballo is still highly rated in the world. He’s currently ranked No. 3 in both the WBC and the WBO, and No. 4 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF). After Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue vacated all four world titles from the four major world boxing sanctioning bodies, two belts are still up for grabs. The WBC and the IBF belts are currently vacant.

The 30-year-old Bravo is a tough hard-hitting fighter. He has only two defeats in his career—one a close unanimous decision against lesser-known Niero Saldon and the other a seventh round stoppage to former world title challenger Giemel Magramo.

Bravo is coming off a fourth-round technical knockout of Ernesto Camiguing.

Gaballo is 25-1 with 21 knockouts, while Bravo is 14-2 with seven knockouts. (EKA)