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Nonito Donaire replaces Luis Nery as mandatory challenger to Nordine Oubaali

Photo by Naoki Fukuda/ WBSS
Fighters Network

Nonito Donaire is the new mandatory challenger to face WBC bantamweight titleholder Nordine Oubaali, the sanctioning body announced Monday afternoon.

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

The announcement comes a month after Donaire lost by unanimous decision to Ring Magazine champion Naoya Inoue in a competitive and entertaining fight. The Nov. 7 clash was also the final of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) Tournament.

Oubaali, who is ranked No. 2 by The Ring, also fought on the card, defeating Takuma Inoue, the younger brother of Naoya, by unanimous decision.

Donaire (40-6, 26 knockouts) replaces Luis Nery of Mexico, whose fight against Emmanuel Dominguez on Nov. 23 in Las Vegas was cancelled after Nery came in over the weight limit of 118 pounds.

According to the WBC, both sides have about three weeks to reach an agreement for a fight. If not, a purse bid will be held at the headquarters of the WBC in Mexico City.

“The free negotiations period has begun for the mandatory title defense of WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali and if announcement is reaches, a purse offer will be conducted on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, in Mexico City.”

The 37-year-old Donaire, who nows lives and trains in Las Vegas, has won world title belts in four different weight classes in a career that is a shoe-in for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He made his pro debut in February of 2001 at the age of 18.

Donaire is the No. 1 ranked bantamweight by The Ring.

Oubaali (17-0, 12 KOs), who resides in Bagnolet, France, won the vacant WBC title by defeating Rau’shee Warren by unanimous decision on Jan. 19. Including the win over Inoue, the 33-year-old Oubaali has defended the WBC title twice.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing