FILIPINO American boxer Nonito Donaire on Saturday, May 29 cemented his Hall of Fame credentials after knocking out Nordine Oubaali for the World Boxing Council bantamweight title in Carson, California.
The 38-year-old “Filipino Flash” scored two knockdowns during the third round and delivered the final blow at the 1:52 mark of the fourth round, dealing the French-Morroccan Oubaali his first loss.
“The king has returned,” said Donaire after the fight. “I just love the crowds. All my friends, family, all the boxing fans that came out thank you so much. You guys are wonderful.”
According to him, he wanted to prove to the world that he’s back and “stronger than ever” with his fight with Oubaali.
“I came in here and I felt really good. Today, I knew exactly what was going to happen. I knew exactly what I was going to do. I think I was just very focused in the gym. I was very, very focused. I just felt really good coming in and I was grateful to get this opportunity,” Donaire said.
“Tonight was something that I had to prove to the world that I’m back and I’m stronger than ever. He was a very tough guy. I think ultimately for me, there was a level of should I be more patient? Or should I go for it? Something I learned in the Inoue fight was to go for the kill. And that’s exactly what I did. I was patient but I knew he was hurt enough that I could take him out,” he added.
Donaire currently owns a record of 41-6, with 27 knockouts. Meanwhile, Oubaali’s record is 17-1, with 12 knockouts.
The Fil-Am boxer is now the oldest bantamweight champion in boxing history, a record previously held by Gerry Penalosa who was 36 when he won against Jhonny Gonzales in 2007.
“Being at this age is not the question, it’s about my performance, about my ability to grow. I believe it matters not what your age is but how mentally strong you are,” he said.
Donaire also declared that he wants a rematch with Naoya Inoue after losing to him in Japan.
“This is why I wanted to win this fight because that is my next goal. The only thing that I have not accomplished in boxing is becoming undisputed and that is my goal this year,” he said.
“That is my goal until I get there. I’m gonna make it happen and the next phase is getting the rematch,” Donaire added.