Nonito Donaire goes back to upset Oubaali by knockout in the fourth round
They say every great fighter has one last great performance in them. At 38, former five-weight world champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire 41-6 (27) has proven he may have a little more than that left.
In what some might call a staggering upheaval, Donaire won the WBC bantamweight championship from previously undefeated French southpaw Nordine Oubaali 17-1 (12) by fourth round knockout at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. On Saturday night. .
After a tight feeling around, Donaire began to time his counters in the second, making especially good use of his right hand. The smaller Oubaali stayed on the outside, trying to choose his moments with his right jab to disrupt the veteran’s pace.
Although the champion had his moments jumpy, it was Donaire’s poise, patience and ring mastery that was the story of the fight. He knew when to engage and when to sit and grab his opponent at the entrance.
At the end of the third round, a scintillating left hook from Donaire smashed into Oubaali’s jaw as his back was on the ropes and sent him back into the fight for the first time. Although he beat the Count, Oubaali had wobbly legs and Donaire immediately went on the offensive, dropping him again just at the bell.
Referee Jack Reiss applied the mandatory eight count before Oubaali circled the ring in search of his corner.
The champion may have survived the round, but the writing was on the wall.
Donaire wasted no time killing in the fourth, working on Oubaali before landing a left hook, a right uppercut combination that once again crumpled the favorite at a discount. This time, referee Reiss decided he had seen enough, calling off the fight at 1:52.
“I knew who his role model was, so I knew what he was going to do,” Donaire said. “My wife in the corner was telling me you know your distance, you know what to do, and that countered it with the left hook.
It is remarkable to think that it was 14 years ago that Donaire first appeared when he stopped the Armenian-Australian demolition Vic ‘The Raging Bull’ Darchinyan with a single left hook to claim the belt. IBF flyweight in their first bout for the world championship. .
Donaire is now continuing a unification fight with Japanese WBA and IBF bantamweight champion Naoya ‘The Monster’ Inoue 20-0 (17), against whom he lost a competitive decision in November 2019. Their thrilling clash was rewarded with the fight of the year.
“I believe it doesn’t matter your age, it doesn’t matter your mental state, your mental toughness,” Donaire said.
“What I learned from Inoue is that I’m back. I knew I could compete with him, and I wasn’t fighting, I was learning. I’m ready for the next one!
“That’s what I wanted to win this fight because it’s my next goal. The only thing I haven’t done in boxing has gone unchallenged and the next phase is to get the rematch [with Inoue]. “
In an all-out war against junior undercard welterweight Subriel “ Browny ” Matias 17-1 (17) weathered an early storm against hammer-fisted Batvrzhan Jukembayev 18-1 (14) to resume the fight in the middle of the rounds in road to an eight-round stoppage in their scheduled 12-round clash.
Matias, 29, from Fajardo, Puerto Rico, dealt a few big punches from the Kazakh left-hander in the first two rounds but started to gain control in the third before dropping Jukembayev with a left hook in the fourth.
Matias continued to put pressure on Jukembayev in the middle of the rounds, but was caught with a hard right hook that rocked him at the end of the seventh stanza. Matias returned to his corner to be reprimanded for not being hurt.
The pep talk appeared to ignite Matias, who traveled to town on Jukembayev in the eighth and continued to target his opponent’s quickly swollen eyes. Jukembayev’s corner stopped the fight before the bell to start the ninth.
“I certainly had other opponents who were very good, but he gave me the toughest battle,” Matias said after the fight.
The scores at the time of the stoppage were 77-74 on two occasions and 76-75, all for Matias.
Junior welterweight Gary Antuanne Russell 14-0 (14) of Capitol Heights, Maryland kept his unblemished record intact with a dominant sixth round stoppage of 31-year-old Puerto Rican Jovanie ‘El Lobito’ Santiago 14-2-1 (10) in their scheduled 10-round fight.
The 24-year-old southpaw, who represented the United States at the 2016 Olympics, was dominant throughout the contest, throwing cluster punches and ramming Santiago to the canvas with a right hook early in the fourth round.
Russell continued the punishment for the next two frames, forcing Santiago to retreat to his stool at the end of the sixth. It was the first time he was extended beyond the fourth round.
“The goal is to get the man out as soon as possible and to come out unscathed,” said Russell. “I’m looking for Adrian Broner, I want Adrien Broner.”
On the non-televised bantamweight undercard portion Alejandro Barrios 24-2-5 (12) knocked out Juan Gabriel Medina 12-7 (11) in the second round of a scheduled eight.
Junior welterweight Kevin Johnson 9-2 (5) upset previously undefeated Luis Salazar 15-1 (3), stopping him in the eighth and final round. Salazar was shot four times before the fight ended at 0:17.
Light heavyweight Atif Olberton 2-0 (2) knocked out journeyman Larry Pryor 14-24 (8) at 0:49 of the third round. Pryor lost twice in their scheduled six-round bout.
In the first super featherweight prospect, Rey Diaz 5-0 (2) won a unanimous decision victory over Sergio Gonzalez 3-5 (2) in a four round. Diaz was down in the final round but held on for a 38-37 victory on the three judges’ scorecards.