On Sunday in the Philippines WBA "interim" Bantamweight champion Reymart Gaballo (20-0, 17) scored a quick fire win over Tanzania's Julias Kisarawe (29-7-1, 15) live on ESPN5. The bout was part of a Philippines Vs Tanzanian card that saw the locals winning 4-0 (4) in a combined 7 rounds and seemingly do little more than get an easy win on their record.
It's now been reported by Philboxing that today's bout was leading to bigger things with Jim Claude Manangquil telling Philboxing that the 22 year old Gaballo will fight Panamanian based Venezuelan Liborio Solis (27-5-1-1, 12) on November 30th in New Jersey. He not only confirmed the bout but also revealed that the bout would be for the WBA "Regular" Bantamweight title, which is apparently set to become vacant despite currently being held by Naoya Inoue.
Gaballo became the interim champion earlier this year, upsetting Stephon Young in March, and although he missed out on the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) he remained a leading Bantamweight contender with the interim title keeping him in the mix for the eventual winner of the WBSS. Sadly today's bout was his first since his title win.
Aged 36 Solis is a wily old veteran and also a former world champion at Super Flyweight, having held the WBA title in 2013. He won that belt on the road, beating Kohei Kono in Japan, and lost it on the road, failing to make weight for a unification bout with the IBF champion Daiki Kameda. Since moving up in weight he has pretty avoided though did challenge Shinsuke Yamanaka for the WBC title in 2016, dropping the Teiken man twice, and Jamie McDonnell in 2016 and 2017, being unfortunate with the decision in the first bout before the second ended in a No Contest.
We're expecting to see this story develop quickly and we're going to be honest, we're excited about seeing two of the more over-looked Bantamweights getting it on in such an attractive match up. The winner will certainly be in the mix for the winner of the WBSS and it's fair to say that the depth of the division is helping those not included in the tournament stay busy and get big bouts like this one. Both perhaps should have got a place in the 8 man tournament but given they have each other to face off with we can't complain too much about them being absent from the competition.
The Philboxing article that references the Gaballo Vs Solis bout can be read here.
WBA Interim Bantamweight champion Reymart Gaballo (20-0, 17) travelled to the US earlier this year and shocked Stephon Young. Since then Gaballo has been inactive, and missed out on a potential place at the Bantamweight World Boxing Super Series.
Today he fought for the first time since that loss, albeit in a none title fight, as he took on the hapless and horribly over-matched Julias Kisarawe (29-7-1, 15) of Tanzania.
Gaballo set off like a man who didn't want to be in the ring for any longer than he had to be and began by looking to take Kisarawe out swiftly. The first real combination from Gaballo dropped Kisarawe to his hands and knees and it seemed like he wanted out before rising at the count of 9. He seemed unsure if he wanted to continue when the referee asked, but after a few awkward moments continued the contest. He needn't have bothered with Gaballo going straight for him and landing a huge body shot before a headshot followed. Kisarawe went down again and this time the referee called a halt to proceedings.
The official time of the stoppage was 2:25 of round 1, making it the quickest that Kisarawe has been stopped.
This was the 4th time the Tanzanian had been taken out early, having previous been stopped by Prince Patel, Jason Moloney and Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym, which should sum up his level.
As for Gaballo we're hoping something bigger and better comes for him shortly as he looks to be one of the many world class Bantamweights over-looked by the WBSS organisers and his WBA interim title really could have some meaning outside of the WBSS tournament, which will see the WBA super and regular titles being unified along with the WBO and IBF titles.
Interestingly Gaballo did call out one of the WBSS fighters, current WBA regular champion Naoya Inoue, who is the tournament favourite. That bout could possibly happen after the WBSS if both men continue to be unbeaten, though Gaballo might need to do something to raise his profile between now and the conclusion to the WBSS.
In July 2016 Filipino fighter Marlon Tapales, (now 30-2, 13) claimed the WBO Bantamweight title with a remarkable come from behind stoppage win of Pungluang Sor Singyu, pulling himself off the canvas twice in round 5 to stop the Thai in round 11. It seemed like Tapales was going to become one of the new faces of Filipino boxing.
Sadly for Tapales he would be stripped of the title the following year when he failed to make weight for his second bout against Shohei Omori [大森 将平], being stripped of the WBO title ahead of his first defense despite stopping Omori in round 11.
The Omori rematch came in April 2017 and since the Tapales hasn't fought. The chance of becoming of the top Filipino fighters has seemingly vanished and his career really hasn't worked out as he'd wished, with a cancellation of a comeback bout earlier this year.
Thankfully it now looks like things are sorted and sources are now reporting that Tapales is set to return to the ring on September 30th in Quezon City.
The under-rated Filipino is set to face Tanzania's Goodluck Mrema (22-3, 12), who has a good looking record on paper but is 0-3 outside of Tanzania including an opening round loss in the Philippines to Jeo Santisima and a June 2018 loss to Scottish prospect Lee McGregor.
This bout is set to be one of the lead supporting bouts to the contest between WBA "interim" Bantamweight champion Reymart Gaballo (19-0, 16) and Tanzanian visitor Julias Kisarawe (29-6-1, 15). That bout will be Gaballo's first since his title winning performance in March, against Stephon Young whilst Kisarawe, who is suspended by the Hungarian Boxing Association, will be looking to score his first win outside of Tanzania. Notably Kisarawe is 0-4 outside of his homeland, including losses on the road to Prince Patel, Jason Moloney and Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym. This bout has been reported as a defense of the interim title by Gaballo, though that's currently unclear given that Kisarawe was stopped by Patel back in July.
We would like to thank Ian Melodillar for bringing this contest to our attention
The WBA have had a reputation for creating too many titles, muddying the waters of what real world class is, and leading many to almost ignore anything but their Super Titles. Whilst that's a fantastic attitude to the WBA's almost offensive title creation scheme it does need to be said that the proliferation of titles does give more fighters a chance to make a name for themselves. It makes it hard to know who is really world class, but does give leeser known fighters a chance to put themselves in the mix and in some cases that's a good thing, even if the way the WBA does it is pathetic and wrong.
The latest fighter to claim one of the WBA's "interim" titles was one fighter who took the opportunity with both hands and put himself straight into the mix of his division.
That fighter is unbeaten Filipino 21 year old Reymart Gaballo (19-0, 16) who claimed the WBA "interim" Bantamweight title last night with an impressive and dominant decision win over Stephon Young (17-1-3, 7).
Gaballo, a relative unknown out of the Philippines, dropped Young in round 3 and never looked like losing from then on, as he took the decision with scores of 117-110, twice, and 118-109.
With the win Gaballo puts himself in the mix for a fight at the "Super" champion Ryan Burnett, or the "Regular" title, which Jamie McDonnell will defend against Naoya Inoue in May.
Whilst we do despise the WBA's multiple title system, for Gaballo right now the win is a career changing one and the 21 year old is now in the mix for huge fights. It would have made more sense for the WBA to have held the bout as a world title eliminator, but the reality is that for the fighter the win is key, and the doors that win opens up really are career changing.
Interestingly on the same card Filipino Mike Plania (14-1, 7) lost a decision to former world champion Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9), despite dropping Payano in round 3, and Kazakh puncher Mussa Tursyngaliyev (7-0, 6) stopped Luis Hinojosa (31-14-0-2, 18) in 3 rounds, to claim the vacant WBA-NABA USA Featherweight title.
(Image courtesy of Sanman Promotions)
The WBA have got themselves a reputation over the last few years as being an organisation which likes to creat as many world champions as possible. They have regularly spoken about reducing their number of world titles, but have done little to actually bring that to action and instead have continued to sanction bouts for any number world titled belts. They have included "Super", "Unified", "Regular", "Interim" and even "Champion in Recess" titles. Essentially the WBA have got the ability to award 5 different "world" titles to fighters, in what potentially makes a mockery of the sport at the "world level".
The latest "world" title bout that appears to have been sanctioned by the WBA is a WBA "interim" Bantamweight title fight, which will pit unbeaten Filipino Reymart Gaballo (18-0, 16) against unbeaten American Stephon Young (17-0-3, 7) on March 23rd. That's despite the fact the WBA have a fit "Super" champion in Ryan Burnett, who will defend that title on March 21st against #1 contender Yonfrez Parejo, they also have a fit and healthy "Regular" champion, Jamie McDonnell, who is being linked to returning a May return to face Naoya Inoue.
With the current WBA rankings, published on January 31st, Young is ranked #4 at Bantamweight whilst Gaballo is totally unranked leaving more questions as to what the WBA are actually thinking by allowing this "interim" title bout.
Now we've got that out of our system we do need to admit that the bout it's self is a really good one. The unbeaten American has shown that he belong on the fringes of a world title eliminator following draws with Antonios Nieves and Nikolai Potapov, though he does look a stand out win, which he could get if her over-comes Gaballo. As for Gaballo he's started to get his passport out and has fought in the US and Mexico in last two fights, after fighting his first 16 contests in his native Philippines. He also lacks a big win, with his most notable foe being Ernesto Guerrero, and would see Young as a big step up.
On paper the bout is a great one, but the reality is that WBA have messed up, big time. They could have had these two meet in one half of a 4 man tournament, with the winner of the small tournament to get a shot, but instead seemingly sanctioning this as an interim title bout is laughable at best and a joke at worst.
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