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Nonito Donaire reflects on knockout win over Reymart Gaballo, considers future opportunities

Donaire says a unification fight is his next priority but he would consider a move either up or down in weight.

Following Nonito Donaire’s knockout win over Reymart Gaballo over the weekend to successfully defend his WBC title, Donaire chats with media reporters about the win and where he’s looking to go from here since he clearly has no specific designs on slowing down at age 39. Check out some excerpts of what Donaire and his promoter had to say below.

Donaire on how he set up the fight ending shot

“Well at first I expected a different fight from him. We worked on a counter left hook, he was trying to nullify that left hook by stepping back and throwing the straight right down the middle. So what I planned to do was different, so I had to kind of feel him out a little bit.

“With my wife and my dad’s tandem of the strategy that we worked on, which is to set up, move around, to give him a different look, and then to counter over the head and then of course the body was given with the left hook...he was covering his head and then it went to the body.”

On if he noticed Gaballo fought less aggressively than he normally does and if that’s because of his power

“He was powerful too, strong. I didn’t expect him to be that strong or he tried to just sit down and brawl with me. That was not in my expectation and of course my power was (there) — he was showing what he was throwing so I was able to block a lot it, like with the straight, I knew it was coming, I would just block it until I could time it. He fought a different fight, I thought he fought a great fight, but you know, our strategy was better.”

On if he’s considering another move down in weight

“My future would be one belt, two belt, three belt, four belts. And of course the person that makes it happen would be Richard (Schaefer). That’s the priority (to unify at 118).”

“(Unifying) is definitely my ultimate goal but again, there’s things that happen that we can’t foresee, that’s Richard’s job to make things happen for me.”

Schaefer on his plans for Donaire

“We’re gonna have to see now what the WBO is going to rule, if the title is going to become vacant, if there’s a way we can fight for the vacant title and unify those two belts,” Schaefer said. “Mr. Honda is here, Inoue’s promoter. I’ve had conversations with him before and tonight again, so that’s a possibility. So there’s a lot of opportunities out there.

“You have the COVID situation in Japan as well, we have to see how that plays out. We have to see how the WBO situation plays out, but I think there’s some great challenges at 115 which Nonito said is a division he would like to conquer as well. So there’s opportunities there but there are opportunities at 122 as well, so there’s a lot of fights which can be made.”