Nonito Donaire plastered Frenchman Nordine Oubaali, wins WBC Bantamweight diadem
The lefts proved to be his ever-reliable weapons all his boxing life. And in a span of 4 rounds, this variety of lefts delivered the goods last night. The price? That beautiful green and gold strap regarded as the WBC World Bantamweight Championship.
Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire, Jr thus became world champion again. The ninth time spread over 4 divisions.
The 38-year old Donaire Jr was the stalker almost the entire fight while the Frenchman opted to stay a safe distance away from Nonito’s vaunted lefts. This proved to be his downfall as the grizzled veteran been tagging him instead with counter rights almost at will.
While Nonito seems to be dangerously gaining his confidence, it was obvious that the former champion was losing the same. He was retreating and was confused. Donaire was big and strong. The first knockdown of the fight came in the 3rd round-cornered, the champion tried to put up a combination of punches, then suddenly Nonito tagged him with a short stiff left hook, sending him to the canvass in all fours, for the first time in his career.
Ref Jack Reiss counted 8 then allowed the fight to continue. Nonito caught Oubaali again with the same left with almost no time remaining in the round. As per rules, no boxer can be saved by the bell in any round, therefore Ref Reiss initiated another mandatory count to the fallen champion. Oubaali managed to rise again for the 2nd time and the referee rightly signaled the end of the round giving him a reprieve against the Donaire onslaught.
This proved to be Oubaali’s last stand. In the 4th it was very obvious that Nonito was going for the kill – like a predator going after his wounded prey. His eyes revealed it, his movements calculated and precise. Midway into the round, while Oubaali was in all retreat, Nonito delivered the coup de grace sending the Frenchman slumping into the canvass, the referee forced to waive off the fight at 1:09 remaining the 4th round.
Donaire crowned himself the world champion again, the oldest Bantamweight world champion on record.
With this win, prominent Filipino pugilists are possibly on a collision course – Casimero, Dasmarinas (in case he wins over Monster Inoue this coming June 19, 2021), and now Nonito. Will there be an all Filipino unification title bout on the horizon? That’s another record-setting fight to look forward to. In the meantime, let’s raise a glass to this old warrior. When most considered him gone, he proved yet again he still good for another good run.