Nordine Oubaali utilizes effective aggression to defeat Rau’shee Warren again.
The WBC bantamweight title bout between Rau’shee Warren and Nordine Oubaali bred excitement the moment it was announced. We predicted on our podcast that this fight would be razor close and it was just that for the majority of the fight!
The two carried an Olympic rivalry previously settled by a close win by Oubaali, into the professional ranks. They did not disappoint as this was a great chess match between two fighters who knew each other well.
The Early Rounds
The early rounds told a tale of the aggressive boxer puncher vs the patient slick fighter. However, both men would be very cerebral in their approach, knowing a small mistake could be critical.
With this being a high-stakes, mental affair, these combatants would split the early rounds moving into the second quarter of the fight. Oubaali did well applying effective aggression, utilizing the right hook to push his opponent backwards.
Meanwhile, Warren did an excellent job of timing his jab and eluding shots using his footwork as the Frenchman lunged in. This fight was so close in the first half that 3kingsboxing.com and Showtime analyst Steve Farhood had the fight even as the seventh round started.
One could make a case that Oubaali had the better first half since he caught and staggered the Ohio native in the third round. He would do so again in the seventh as Warren decided to stand in the pocket and slug with the bigger puncher. He ended up paying for it by giving up the round.
This would be where Oubaali would start to show separation in the fight. Warren had a tendency from the first round to pull back in order to elude the left hand. He would also expose his chin in exchanges while keeping his hands low or pulling straight up after throwing combinations.
This left him susceptible to counters and Oubaali would take full advantage in the latter rounds.
Barry Hunter, trainer for Warren shared our sentiment about the tone of the fight. Prior to the start of the tenth, he told his fighter that he “needed every round,” basically stating Warren needed to win the remaining three rounds.
As a result, Warren would start the last three rounds attempting to be the more aggressive fighter. However, his aggression was “ineffective.” Furthermore, Oubaali tapped more into using his IQ which aided him in finding openings by providing angles.
Out of the last three rounds, Warren arguably won only one. In the end, the official judges scored the fight 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111 all to the new WBC champion, Nordine Oubaali.
3kingsboxing.com scored the fight 116-112 for Oubaali. With this win, he becomes the first French born champion over the last eleven years!
By: EJ Williams