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WBC orders Nonito Donaire to face interim champion Reymart Gaballo

Gaballo claimed the belt in a robbery win over Emmanuel Rodriguez last December

Nordine Oubaali v Nonito Donaire Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

So here’s the latest on the Nonito Donaire situation: while Bob Arum has proposed a rematch with Naoya Inoue, the WBC bantamweight champion restarted talks with WBO champion John Riel Casimero, whom he was slated to face in the summer before withdrawing due to a social media spat. Al Haymon now claims that Casimero rejected the fight, which Sean Gibbons disputes, and Mike Coppinger reports that the WBC has thrown an extra wrench into things by ordering the “Filipino Flash” to fight interim champion Reymart Gaballo.

Donaire (41-6, 27 KO) was the mandatory challenger when he stopped Nordine Oubaali for the belt in May, so he should technically still have plenty of time for a voluntary defense, but I’ve long since stopped assuming the WBC gave a crap about its own regulations.

Gaballo (24-0, 20 KO) was the beneficiary of one of 2020’s biggest robberies when he “beat” Emmanuel Rodriguez on the card formerly headlined by Donaire-Oubaali, and while the decision was bad enough that Mauricio Sulaiman and co. ordered an immediate rematch, that never wound up coming to pass. Rodriguez instead took on Gary Antonio Russell earlier this year, only to suffer another stroke of ill fortune when a headbutt ended things just 16 seconds into the first.

Gaballo is by far the least interesting of the three available options, so let’s hope the champions can work something out.

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