Filipino star Nonito Donaire Jr. looks to become a world champion again at the age of 38 as he challenges World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight king Nordine Oubaali on May 30, 2021 (PH time) at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Donaire Jr. returns to the ring from a year-and-a-half layoff after giving Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue his most difficult fight. He gave Inoue a run for his money but lost by unanimous decision in a competitve World Series of Boxing Finals in Japan in 2019.
“The layoff will not be a factor at all. The time off helped me out. Just being out of the ring helped my body recover. And the eagerness and hunger is there more than ever. It was a blessing for me,” said Donaire Jr., who’s the No. 1 ranked bantamweight in the WBC.
The 34-year-old Oubaali won the vacant WBC bantamweight strap with a unanimous decision win over Rau’shee Warren in 2019. He successfully defended his belt twice with a sixth round stoppage win over Filipino Arthur Villanueva and Naoya’s brother Takuma Inoue by unanimous decision.
“The difference of the fight is going to be I want to win it more. I want to continue to make history and stay as the world champion in this division. I know it’s my time. I want this more than he does,” said Oubaali.
Donaire Jr. and Oubaali both weighed in at 117.6 pounds.
Donaire Jr.’s former sparring partner and International Boxing Federation (IBF) No. 13 super bantamweight Albert Pagara believes that Donaire Jr. will walk away with the victory if he shows up in top form.
“If Nonito comes out with a vintage performance, there’s no way Oubaali will win,” Pagara told SunStar Cebu. “Nonito has the experience and has more power.”
Donaire Jr. is 40-6 with 26 knockouts, while Oubaali is 17-0 with 12 knockouts. (EKA)