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Nordine Oubaali vs. Nonito Donaire on May 16 on Showtime

Nonito Donaire

By Chris Williams: WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali will be defending against mandatory Nonito Donaire on May 16 on Showtime. The location for the Oubaali vs. Donaire fight still hasn’t been decided, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.  The Oubaali-Donaire fight will take place on the West Coast of the U.S.

This is a fight that could put Donaire in position to get a rematch with IBF/WBA 118-lb champion Naoya Inoue. That’s the fight that Donaire is hoping to get, but he’s got to get passed France’s Oubaali, who has looked good since capturing the vacant WBC bantamweight title last year in beating Rau’shee Warren by a 12 round unanimous decision in January 2019. In Oubaali’s two defenses of his WBC title, he’s beaten Arthur Villanueva and Takuma Inoue.

It’ll be interesting to see if the two-time Olympian Oubaali beats Donaire, as he’s not a huge puncher by any means. Oubaali has respectable power, but he mostly produces knockouts through his volume punching. For Oubaali to have a shot at knocking out Donaire, he’s going to need to battle him in the trenches, and risk getting clipped by one of his big left hooks.

Donaire showed in 2019 that he can still punch with a lot of power and potentially knock out anyone in the division. He stopped Stephon Young in six rounds in the World Boxing Super Series tournament last April. In Donaire’s fight before that, he dethroned WBA bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett by a 4th round knockout in November 2018.

Oubaali is the younger fighter by 4 years than the 37-year-old Donaire, and he seems to have a good chin. It Oubaali is able to withstand Donaire’s power long enough t KO him, then we could see him get hi out of there.

On the undercard, highly ranked welterweights Sergey Lipnets (16-1, 12 KOs) and Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (17-0, 9 KOs) will be fighting. This is an interesting fight between two guys that could in the near future challenge IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. when/if he returns to the ring at some point. Few fans expect Lipinets or Abdukakhorov to be much competition for Spence, but one of the two will surely be challenging him as the IBF mandatory.

WBC 118-lb champion Oubaali (17-0, 12 KOs) will be defending his World Boxing Council strap for the third time against the 37-year-old former four-division world champion Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs).

In Donaire’s last fight, he was beaten by IBF bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue by a 12 round unanimous in an action-packed contest on November 7 in Saitama, Japan. The fight took place in the final of the World Boxing Super Series tournament. Both fighters were hurt during the contest.

Donaire was knocked down in the 11th from a body shot, but he was able to get up and make it through the rest of the fight. Inoue was cut over his right in round 2 and hurt later on from a right-hand from Donaire that shook him to his boots in the 9th. After the fight, it was learned that Inoue had suffered a broken nose and cracked right orbital ridge.

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