Philippines, 01 Dec 2020
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Adams predicts Donaire win by KO

There’s no doubt in former US Olympic boxing coach Kenny Adams’ mind that Nonito Donaire, Jr. will knock out defending WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali of France when they clash in a 12-round Showtime title bout at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, on Dec. 12.

Adams, 79, is in Donaire’s coaching staff and brings a ton of experience to the table. He has worked with over 26 world champions and 34 Olympians, once stringing a winning streak of 22 world title fights. In the 1984 Olympics, Adams masterminded the US assault that hauled in nine gold medals, one silver and a bronze.

Adams said when Donaire was named the mandatory challenger last February, he began reviewing Oubaali’s fights on tape, thinking the bout would be held in April. But the pandemic has delayed the match until December. Ringstar Sports CEO Richard Schaefer said “for the time being, it’s at the Mohegan Sun.” The schedule has been announced by Showtime although whether it pushes through or not will depend on how the pandemic is neutralized.

Adams, who lives in Las Vegas like Donaire, said he’s not worried about the challenger’s condition. “Nonito’s always in shape,” said Adams in an overseas phone call the other day. “He works out all the time. We’re several months away from the fight so I still don’t know the details of training camp. If it’s in Las Vegas, I’ll suggest this small gym called DLX Boxing at South Fort Apache. We can work there with Brandon Woods whom I call the trainer of the future, someone who learned a lot from me and who has worked with Nonito before.”

Adams said Oubaali once sparred with Donaire so they’re not strangers to each other. “We know what Oubaali’s like,” he said. “I trained an Israeli guy who fights just like him, a southpaw and he would’ve been a perfect sparring partner but he’s gone back to Israel. Oubaali’s 5-3 1/2 so he’s not tall. I’ll look for guys who can mimic his style and spar with Nonito. Oubaali’s nothing special but he’s tough. I’m confident Nonito will figure him out. Oubaali’s very open, very vulnerable. He’s not a big, big puncher. He likes to go to his right a lot and is a volume guy. Nonito knocks him out for sure.”

Donaire said he’s not underestimating Oubaali who’s a two-time Olympian. Oubaali, 33, has a 17-0 record with 12 KOs compared to Donaire’s 40-6, with 26 KOs. Donaire, 37, turned pro in 2001, 13 years before Oubaali’s debut. “Oubaali is a good fighter with lots of amateur experience,” said Donaire. “He can box and fight and he can be difficult to hit. But he hasn’t fought anyone with my power.” Donaire said when he dethrones Oubaali, next in his agenda is a rematch with super WBA/IBF bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue of Japan. He lost a unanimous 12-round decision to Inoue in Saitama last November but the Japanese finished with a fractured right orbital bone, a broken nose and a deep cut over his right eye. Inoue is supposed to face WBO bantamweight king JohnRiel Casimero in Las Vegas but the fight is still up in the air with the Japanese unable to travel and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum hesitant to stage the triple unification duel without an audience and inclined to put it on hold until the pandemic is over to bring in a huge crowd.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.

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