By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
CHAMP AGAIN. Nonito Donaire celebrates after knocking out erstwhile unbeaten Nordine Oubaali of France in the fourth round to regain the WBC bantamweight title at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on Sunday (Manila Time). The 38-year-old Donaire became the oldest bantamweight champion of all time. (Screenshot/PBC)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – Nonito Donaire became a world boxing champion again on Sunday after knocking out French opponent Nordine Oubaali at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The 38-year-old Donaire stunned the erstwhile unbeaten Oubaali with three huge knockdowns, the last of which forced referee Jack Reiss to stop the contest midway into Round 4 to regain the World Boxing Council bantamweight title.
Donaire actually started picking up the pace in Round 2, using his height and reach advantage in tagging Oubaali with crisp shots.
Oubaali thought he turned things around early into Round 3 when he somehow dictated the pace.
But Donaire’s patented left hook sent Oubaali down for the first time in his pro career with 46 seconds remaining in the round, turning the tides of the bout.
Oubaali somehow still got to tag Donaire with a 1-2 combination with just four seconds remaining, but the latter appeared to have beaten the third round bell with another left hook that even made the former confused on where his corner was located.
The end came at the 1:52 mark of Round 4 when Donaire unleashed a three-punch combo capped by a left uppercut that forced Reiss to save Oubaali from further damage.
The 38-year-old Donaire, now at 41-6 with 27 knockouts, became the oldest bantamweight champion of all time as he reasserts his might as a four-division world champion.
Oubaali, on the other hand, lost for the first time after a solid 17-0 start to his professional career.
Donaire first won the WBC bantamweight belt in 2011 when he also knocked out Mexican Fernando Montiel. (PNA)