Nordine Oubaali fighting mandator Nonito Donaire and its about damn time
WBC Bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12ko) will finally lock horns with four-divisional champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire (40-6, 26ko) on May 29. This fight is so long overdue it is surprising the expiration date has not passed. Back in 2019, the WBC had elevated Donaire to the mandatory position to face the WBC champion Oubaali.
The journey this fight took to finally come to fruition has been a wild rollercoaster ride. Oubaali had to pull out of the original fight date back in December 2020 after testing positive for COVID-19. This resulted in the WBC placing him as “champion-in-recess,” making the title vacant. Donaire was allowed to fight for the vacant WBC title against former IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez. However, the Filipino Flash’s COVID-19 positive test derailed his shot. Yet, this would put result in the organization reinstating Oubaali as the champion at the beginning of 2021.
COMING FULL CIRCLE
Donaire is having an excellent second half of a career run. Many boxing enthusiasts felt the most devastating puncher of the lower weight division’s time in boxing had come to an end back in 2018. He was able to take his career off life-support after two high-profile victories in the World Boxing Super Series; one against WBA Bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett and another over top challenger Stephon Young
The Filipino flash would lose in the WBSS finals against the newly crowned unified champion “The Monster” Naoya Inoue. He has been looking for a rematch with the Japanese mega-star, and winning the WBC title would do the trick. Oubaali has been chomping at the heels of the unified champion. He even fought on the undercard of the WBSS finals and immediately called out Inoue after beating his younger brother, Takuma Inoue.
Both men have been out of the ring since being featured in the WBSS tournament back in 2019. Oubaali will be fighting on U.S. soil for the second time in his career. Moreover, if he can knock out or thoroughly defeat Donaire, look for the French champion to turn up the heat even more on Inoue.
Donaire is perhaps getting a last hurrah. Being 38-years old and coming off a long layoff does not work in his favor. Still, he has shown there is still some bite left in the old dog.
By: Garrisson Bland