The fights, which will both be ten-rounders, will be televised live in the Philippines on ESPN 5, which has made a significant push to raise the fighters’ awareness at home. Gaballo and Duno were flown from their training base of General Santos City to Manila on December 17th to attend the one-year anniversary celebration of the network’s debut of SportsCenter and did a photoshoot at the studios the following day.
Gaballo, a bantamweight with a 20-0 (17 knockouts) record, appeared on ESPN5 in his last fight, a one round blitzing of overmatched Tanzanian Julias Kisarawe in September, while Duno (18-1, 14 KOs), a lightweight who is co-promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, will be fighting in his home country for the first time since June of 2016.
Duno received high praise from promoter Oscar de la Hoya at the Canelo Alvarez-Rocky Fielding post-fight press conference, calling him a “very impressive fighter.”
“We have our eye very close on him. He’s on the verge; next year’s gonna be a big year for Duno so we’re really, really excited about him. He keeps proving…that he belongs on the biggest stage there is to fight on,” said De La Hoya, who adds that he thinks Duno will be ready for a world title opportunity by the second or third quarter of 2019.Duno’s last four fights have all been in California, with his last fight being an eight-round decision win over Ezequiel Aviles in September on Golden Boy Fight Night card.
Gaballo, 22, has had one step-up in competition, defeating the previously unbeaten Stephon Young by unanimous decision in Florida last March to win an interim belt.
One fight that is set for the undercard is the broadcast opener, which will pit Dave Apolinario (9-0, 6 KOs) against compatriot Mark Vicelles (9-0-1, 5 KOs) in a scheduled ten-round flyweight fight for a minor regional title.