Monday, October 03, 2022  |



Nordine Oubaali is excited for his showdown with Nonito Donaire

Nordine Oubaali (Photo by Scott Hirano).

WBC bantamweight titleholder Nordine Oubaali will face former four-weight titleholder Nonito Donaire at Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson, California, on Saturday.

Oubaali (17-0, 12 knockouts) is rated No. 2 by The Ring at 118-pounds and is pleased to be meeting someone of the stature of the 38-year-old Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs), doubtlessly knowing a win would greatly enhance his own credentials.

“I am the world champion and I have to face the best out there,” Oubaali told The Ring through Mariana Caballero. “I’m very excited to defend my title in Carson, California. It’s a great place for boxing and I hope that people attending and watching on TV get to enjoy this fight. I’m excited to share the ring with [Donaire] and I guarantee fireworks on fight night.”

The two had been scheduled to meet several times in 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the fight wasn’t consummated. The two-time French Olympian is understanding to the circumstances that caused the delay.

“I think that Covid and the worldwide situation were more important than anything else,” he said. “Many people lost their lives, jobs, family members, friends. I’m conscious that this was a situation way beyond our hands and we had to adjust.

“But now the date is finally set for this great fight. I dedicate this fight to my country and to the entire world that has had a difficult time in 2020.”

The 34-year-old southpaw, who had initially been training at home and before heading to Mexico, is respectful but ready to face Donaire.

“He is a very complete fighter, that can adjust to circumstances, but I can as well,” said Oubaali, who will travel to Los Angeles on May 21. “I’m ready for all possible scenarios.

“I have put my best effort in my preparation and you will see how I will beat him on May 29. Donaire is a legend in the sport and I respect him as a fighter but I am the world champion and I have no doubt in my mind that my hand will be raised when we finally meet.”

Then Oubaali hopes to add additional hardware to his WBC bantamweight title.

“The dream is to unify and prove I am the best bantamweight [in the world],” he said. “I don’t care who I have to face to reach my goal.”

Donaire won world titles at 112, 118, 122 and 126. The big-punching Filipino owns impressive wins over the likes of Vic Darchinyan (TKO 5), Fernando Montiel (TKO 2), Toshiaki Nishioka (TKO 9) and Jorge Arce (KO 3).

In 2018, “The Filipino Flash” surprisingly dropped back down to bantamweight and took part in the WBSS. He beat Ryan Burnett (RTD 4) and late substitute Stephon Young (TKO 6), before giving Naoya Inoue all he could handle in a decision loss. The bout was later named The Ring Magazine 2019 Fight of the Year.

Oubaali-Donaire, plus undercard action, will be broadcast on Showtime, starting at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright


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