Nonito Donaire Elevated to WBC Bantamweight Mandatory!

Nonito Donaire Gets Another Big Break!

Nonito Donaire and Nordine Oubaali
Nonito Donaire (left) and Nordine Oubaali.

Nonito Donaire Now Mandatory Challenger for Nordine Oubaali!

The World Boxing Council (WBC) has ruled their Bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12 KOs) must next defend against four division champion Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs), who has been elevated to mandatory status.

The move follows their decision to remove previous mandatory challenger Luis Nery from the slot. This was consequence of his failure to make weight before his canceled November 23 contest against former IBF champion Emanuel Rodriguez.

On December 9, the sanctioning body issued the following statement:

“The WBC Board of Governors has voted unanimously to appoint Nonito Donaire as the WBC mandatory contender in the bantamweight division.

The free negotiations period has begun for the mandatory title defense of WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali and if no agreement is reached, a purse offer will be conducted on Friday, January 3, 2020, in Mexico City.”

A Controversial Move?

Donaire is fresh off of a November 7 loss to unified champ and #4 ranked fighter Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16KO) in the WBSS bantamweight tournament finals.

Notably, the showing was one of boxing’s best for all of 2019. Oubaali’s last fight, a unanimous decision win over the brother of Naoya, Takuma Inoue on the very same card.

So, is this a case of the 37-year-old Donaire receiving a gift as a result of his fight with Inoue? Did “The Filipino Flash” truly earn this spot?

Ramifications on the Bantamweight Division

Oubaali was in the sweepstakes to face Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) in the Spring of 2020. An Oubaali – Donaire fight clears things up for Inoue to possibly now fight WBO champion John Riel Casimero (29-4-20 KO’s).

Inoue and Casimero have both expressed a desire to face each other. If made, that fight would take place in the United States.

In a perfect world, the winner of Donaire – Oubaali could fight the winner of potential Inoue – Casimero bout, setting up an undisputed bantamweight championship showdown towards the end of 2020.

How lovely would that be for boxing fans!

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for