Other than another world title, Nonito Donaire has a more pressing reason to beat Nordine Oubaali when they clash on Saturday, December 12 (Sunday, December 13, Manila time) at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Being dangled for the winner of the World Boxing Council bantamweight showdown is a lucrative fight with Naoya Inoue, the unbeaten World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation champion who disposed of Australian Challenger Jason Moloney last month.
If Donaire wins, “The Filipino Flash” would likely get the chance to avenge his unanimous decision loss to Inoue in Saitama, Japan in November 2019.
Though Oubaali is unbeaten in 17 fights with 12 knockouts, the perception is Donaire hits harder than the Frenchman of Moroccan descent.
After all, Donaire, who’ll be 38 years old when he fights Oubaali, flaunts two Knockout of the Year awards on his sterling resume. The first against Armenian legend Vic Darchinyan in 2007 and the second against Mexican Fernando Montiel in 2011.
Donaire, adjudged the world’s best fighter in 2012 and owns 9 world titles in 4 divisions, believes he’s ready to snatch the 118-pound title from Oubaali, who defended it against Takuma Inoue, Naoya’s younger brother, via decision.
Apart from being 2 1/2 inches taller and a reach 1 1/2 inches longer than Oubaali, Donaire will have a big edge in experience with a total of 289 rounds as against Oubaali’s 94.
No wonder, Donaire sounded confident he can beat Oubaali and pursue other boxing goals.
“I still want to go back down to 115 and get a title there and then go up to 130. I can do that,” Donaire told BoxingScene.com. “When I was weighing in at the last fight with Inoue, I was 117.5 but I had to drink a little bit of water because I was 116. So I don’t have a problem making that [115-pound] weight. I would want to stamp that fifth division. The only reason I couldn’t get that before was because everybody was running away from me at 115 and I couldn’t get the title.”
But first Donaire has got to hurdle past Oubaali, whose victims include Filipinos Mark Anthony Geraldo in 2017 and Arthur Villanueva in July 2019. – Rappler.com