Nordine Oubaali Needs to Return to the Ring in 2022
In boxing, fighters find it hard to come back after suffering their first defeat, especially if they are brutally knocked out. The mental toll it takes to bounce back can become a long recovery process. Former WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali (17-1, 12ko) is going through the process as we speak and hopes to return.
THE IMMEDIATE RISE
The 35 -year-old Frenchman was running at an amazing pace at the beginning of his career. Furthermore, he won the vacant WBC title against former champion Rau’shee Warren in 2019. Oubaali would then set his sights on unified champion Naoya “The Monster” Inoue. To add fuel to the fire, Oubaali would fight Inoue’s younger brother, Takuma Inoue, on the undercard of the World Boxing Super Series finals unification between then WBA champion Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire and IBF champion Inoue.
After winning the fight of the year bout with Donaire, the Monster quickly called out Oubaali, seeking revenge for his brother. Leading up to the supposed mega-showdown, the Frenchman made it clear he had no problems facing the Japanese Phenom.
I want unification for the belt…..I’m the best, if I’m boxing Inoue or other boxer, it’s the same. It’s no problem for me.”Nordine Oubaali
TO THE HARD FALL
In 2020, the global pandemic hit and things went quiet on the unification fight as all boxing events were canceled. Oubaali would sit out the whole year waiting to return. During this time, the WBC elevated Donaire to the mandatory position in late 2019.
After being out of the ring for almost two years, Oubaali got set to fulfill the mandatory obligation by fighting the Filipino Flash. The idea was to defeat Donaire in a better fashion than his rival and then continue pursuing a fight with unified champion Inoue.
On May 29, 2021, Donaire had other plans as he obliterated Oubaali, knocking him down three times before ending the fight in the fourth round.
CAN HE RISE AGAIN?
That loss changed everything, and it was brutal enough that fans wondered if the former champion could bounce back from it. Oubaali has been active on social media, vowing a return to the fans.
“There is no defeat that does not make us grow. You have to know how to analyze and question yourself to come back stronger. See you soon for new adventures. Together.”Nordine Oubaali
So far, there has been no return fight scheduled for the former champion. He is ranked #4 by the WBC, which keeps him within striking distance and hopefully he will return in 2022. But, he is beginning to fall out of the minds of boxing fans.
Boxing is a “what have you done lately” sport, and fans will remember your last fight until they see you again. With his advanced age, more time out of the ring will only lead to rapid decline. In short, the former champion needs to get back into the ring, if he wants to show the boxing community that mentally he is not broken. Unless he is!
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By: Garrisson Bland