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SPORTS SHORTS 130: NONITO DONAIRE FACES NORDINE OUBAALI ON MAY 29 IN CARSON, CALIFORNIA


PhilBoxing.com




Former four-division world champion and future Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire will challenge WBC bantamweight world champion Nordine Oubaali in a long-delayed title battle which is set to take place at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on Saturday, May 29 in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

* * *

Dignity Health Sports Park will be open to fans in a limited capacity, with all guests remaining socially distanced and subject to local and state health guidelines throughout the event.

* * *

Oubaali (17-0, 12 KOs), age 34 years of Lens, Pas-de-Calais, France, will defend his title for the third time after winning the WBC belt in a 12-round unanimous decision over Rau’Shee Warren of Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. in January 19, 2019.

* * *

In his first defense he defeated "King" Arthur Villanueva of Bago City, Negros Occidental, when the Filipino withdrew from the fight in between the 6th and 7th rounds at Barys Arena, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on July 6, 2019.

* * *

Oubaali, who represented France in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics, defended his title for they second time, scoring a 12-round decision over Takuma Inoue of Zama, Kanagawa, Japan on November 9, 2019, at Saitama Arena in Saitama, Japan.

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In the same venue and fight card, "The Filipino Flash" Donaire (40-6, 26KOs), lost to Naoya Inoue, Takuma’s older brother, in their World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) bantamweight tournament finals voted as Fight of the Year.

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But Donaire impressed several fans for taking a gallant stand against one of the top pound-for-pound fighters of the world.

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Donaire had won two straight fights before that, scoring a 4th round injury stoppage of Ryan Burnett to wrest the WBA (Super) bantamweight title in November 3, 2018. Donaire outpunched Stephon Young and in the 6th round landed a counter-left hook on his jaw, which knocked him out in April 27, 2019.

* * *

This is the third assigned date for the Oubaali-Donaire fight. It was originally ordered by the WBC to happen on December 19 at the Mohegan Sun Arena but Oubaali was tested positive with Covid-19 and the fight was postponed.

* * *

Donaire was slated to fight former IBF bantamweight world champion Emmanuel Rodriguez of Manatí, Puerto Rico, who replaced Oubaali on short notice, for the vacant title on December 19.

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But Donaire was also tested positive for Covid-19 and he was replaced by Reymart Gaballo of Polomolok, South Cotabato. Rodriguez then lost a disputed split decision for the vacant interim WBC bantamweight title.

* * *

Oubaali was arranged to fight former flyweight world title challenger Nawaphon Kaikanha of Sikhio District, Thailand, on March 13 in Paris. But again due to pandemic concerns and travel restrictions it was cancelled. So Oubaali and Donaire will proceed with their fight as finalized and agreed with Showtime on May 29.

* * *

Boxing analyst Atty. Ed Tolentino believes Donaire has a good chance of beating the Moroccan-French Oubaali. The WBC bantamweight champion has the same style as other fighters who were beaten by Donaire.

* * *

He is 5-foot-3, an inch shorter than Fernando Montiel and Jorge Arce, and likes to fight just like the two boxers. "That Nordine Oubaali, is small and his style is to keep penetrating. That's what fits for Donaire, like Jorge Arce, Fernando Montiel," said Tolentino over ABS-CBN.

* * *

According to Tolentino, another advantage for Donaire is that Oubaali does not have a hard punch like Arce or Montiel. On February 19, 2011, Donaire defeated Montiel via second round stoppage to capture the WBC and WBO bantamweight titles.

* * *

A year later on December 15, 2012, Donaire retained his titles against Jorge Arce with a third-round KO. He knocked down Arce in the second and third rounds and knocked out the Mexican hard-hitter in three rounds to retain his WBO super bantamweight title.

* * *

Donaire is now 38 years old and doesn't have the same agility and power when he defeated the two Mexican warriors. And he is making another attempt to become a world champion once again.

* * *

The question will be on his age and his more than a year of inactivity. "Does he still have what it takes to summon whatever he has left to punctuate an upset over Nordine Oubaali?" said Tolentino.

* * *

Tolentino continued if Donaire can repeat his performance against the dreaded undefeated Japanese, then he has a very great chance of winning over Oubaali. "If he only shows 80 percent of his fighting ability against Inoue, he can beat Nordine Oubaali," added Tolentino.

* * *

Pernell Whitaker of USA won the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic gold medal in the lightweight class. He became professional world champion winning the WBC lightweight (1989-1995), IBF super lightweight (1992-1992), WBA super welterweight (1995-1995), WBC welterweight (1993-1997), WBC, WBA, IBF lightweight (1990-1992) titles.

* * *

Vasily Zhirov of won the 1996 Atlanta Olympic gold medal in the light heavyweight class. He became professional world champion winning the IBF cruiserweight title (1999-2003).

* * *

Shaquille O'Neal won the NBA MVP Award in the year 2000 by collecting per game averages of 29.7 points and 13.6 rebounds. O'Neal was the last center to win the MVP Award. A center is a strong candidate to win the award this year in 2021, and either Nikola Jokic or Joel Embiid will end the 20-year center drought.

* * *

The last ten centers to win the MVP Award are:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 1976, 1977, 1980
Bill Walton: 1978
Moses Malone: 1979, 1982, 1983
Hakeem Olajuwon: 1994
David Robinson: 1995
Shaquille O’Neal: 2000
Source: fadeawayworld.net


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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