Emmanuel Rodriguez vs. Reymart Gaballo
Fight Week Quotes
Former bantamweight world champion Emmanuel RodrŪguez and
unbeaten rising contender Reymart Gaballo shared thoughts on
their showdown for the vacant interim WBC Bantamweight World
Championship Thursday before they meet in the main event of
a SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION this Saturday, December
19 in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
Also previewing their respective matchups taking place on
the telecast beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT were
welterweight Jaron ďBootsĒ Ennis and veteran contender Chris
van Heerden, who meet in the 12-round co-main event, plus
unbeaten bantamweight Antonio Russell and former world
champion Juan Carlos Payano, who kick off the telecast in a
The event is promoted by TGB Promotions and takes place from
Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., RodrŪguez vs.
Gaballo is promoted in association with Warriors Boxing and
Fresh Productions. Ennis vs. Van Heerden is promoted in
association with D&D Boxing.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday:
ďI feel great right now. Iím physically and mentally in
great shape and ready for whatever comes Saturday night.
ďMy training camp and my preparations for the fight really
havenít been impacted much with the change in opponents.
They are similar fighters. The only difference is that
Gaballo is younger and Nonito is more experienced. But itís
still a tough opponent in front of me that Iíll be ready
ďI donít believe that thereís much difference between Nonito
and Gaballo. Gaballo tends to open up a little bit more than
Nonito does, so itís easier to connect on him. He is
probably a little more aggressive than Nonito and his
defense isnít as good. I think Nonito would have been a
tougher fight than Gaballo but I am not taking this fight
ďWeíre prepared for whatever comes. If it goes 12 rounds,
Iím ready for all 12. Heís going to have his game plan and
weíre going to have ours, and Iím confident that Iím going
to come away with the win.Ē
ďIím so focused on this fight. Itís been a year and a week
since my last fight so Iíve just been in the gym, even when
I didnít have a fight in place. Iím always in shape and
training at all times.
ďWhen they said I could be the replacement for Nonito
Donaire, I did not hesitate to say yes. I was supposed to
fight Juan Carlos Payano on August 1, but that fight was
cancelled. Then it was Jose Velasquez before they asked me
to fight Rodriguez.
ďRodriguez is a good fighter and this is a good fight for
us. My team has been like a family to me and it makes me
look forward to staying in the gym and working hard for
ďThere are some really good bantamweights, and I want to be
considered one of the best. You have Naoya Inoue, Nonito
Donaire and John Riel Casimero. Those are the guys I
envision fighting in the future. I know them and have
sparred with them so Iím excited to be included in that
group of names.Ē
ďIíve always had this power ever since I was in the
amateurs. I donít look for the knockouts, I just go in there
and have fun and be the best version of me. I listen to what
my Dad says and follow the game plan and the game plan nine
times out of ten results in a knockout.
ďIím quiet outside of the ring, but inside the ring, Iím a
whole different person. When I step in there, something
inside of me changes. I donít know what it is. You have to
have the flair, the flashiness, the speed, the power. You
have to have the whole package so you can build a great
fanbase and I think I have the whole package.
ďI feel like Thomas Dulorme had the bigger name. More people
know him because he fought more top guys. But Chris van
Heerden has a better record so I think itís even, all things
considered. I know heís fought Spence but Iím not worried
about comparing my performance to how Spence did. Iíll let
the media and the fans do that. Iím going to go in there,
have my fun, and Iím confident that I will get the win and
get the knockout.
ďAfter I put on another show Saturday, I feel like some guys
are probably going to shy away from me. But at the same
time, some guys may want to have a fight with me because
they see Iím starting to become a big attraction and a big
draw. Iím up there in the rankings so thatís why I respect
van Heerden for taking this fight. After Dulorme dropped
out, he was the only one who wanted to take the fight.
ďWithout looking past van Heerden this Saturday, I feel like
Iíve been ready for the top fights since Iíve been about
18-0. Weíve been trying to get them but now I feel like Iím
getting closer and closer. After I make a big statement on
Saturday, I believe Iíll be able to get those big name
fights. Iím at the door and in 2021 Iím knocking down the
CHRIS VAN HEERDEN
"Jaron Ennis is clearly a 'hot' name right now, but he's
been very untested. I'm smart enough to know what works and
what doesn't in the ring and I won't make the mistakes that
he's been able to capitalize on with other opponents.
"It only seems like I took this fight at the last minute but
I've been training very hard for the last few months in Los
Angeles because my manager Peter Kahn had a couple options
brewing for me. I moved my camp to South Florida the last
couple of weeks where I got excellent sparring with young
lions Xander Zayas and DeMichael Harris."
"I'm very thankful to SHOWTIME and Premier Boxing Champions
for providing me with this opportunity. Come Saturday night,
I'll be well prepared for victory and am very much looking
forward to being in the ring with Jaron Ennis."
ďPayano has more experience than me. I havenít been 12
rounds before but I have been 10 rounds and up to 14 rounds
in the gym. But 12 rounds on a Saturday night is different.
With no offense to him, I am more talented. He is the
shorter guy and he will come after me to make it rough, so
we are prepared for that.
ďI took this fight on short notice but we stay in the gym. I
was actually preparing to fight Emmanuel Rodriguez, who is
fighting in the main event, so when I was sparring, I was
preparing for a right-handed fighter. Then when it came down
that Payano was my opponent, I had to find some southpaws to
spar. Luckily my younger and older brother are both
southpaws so I sparred with them a lot over the last three
ďOn Saturday night, my dad, my older brother Alan and the
WBC Champion, Gary Jr., will be in my corner. I wouldnít
have it any other way.
ďI feel good with any top opponent after this: Emmanuel
Rodriguez, Nonito Donaire, Naoya Inoue, Guillermo
Rigondeaux. As long as I have the time to prepare, I will
get in there with anyone. Thatís why I am in the sport of
boxing, to fight the best.Ē
JUAN CARLOS PAYANO
ďI believe that Iím a top-five fighter in this division. I
always give my best and my best is still at a very high
level. I feel that I belong in the best fights, regardless
of the fact that I havenít been a champion for a while,
because Iíve been a champion before.
ďEverybody knows what I bring to the table as a competitor.
Itís up to Russell to prove that he belongs at this level
and that itís not just his family name.
ďThe Danny Roman fight was not that long ago and that type
of conditioning doesnít go away overnight. I didnít take
more than two weeks off after that fight. I am very excited
to be fighting again on SHOWTIME which is becoming my second
ďRussell is very talented but so am I. I have two Olympic
tours, 480 amateur fights and Iíve fought the best in the
division. You donít do that without skills. Maybe today
Russellís skill is better now, but I have more experience. I
will use my experience, skills and ring IQ, and hopefully we
donít get bad judging like we did against Danny Roman.
ďIíve almost fought Reymart Gaballo a few times. When I
fought Mike Plania, it was actually supposed to be Gaballo.
And then a couple other times Iíve been supposed to fight
him. So Iíll be looking forward to watching his fight. I
expect good things from him, and Iíd love for him to win the
title so that I can fight him for a meaningful outcome.Ē