MANILA, Philippines -- For Filipino boxing great Nonito Donaire, his upcoming bout is the first step he has to take towards achieving another one of his goals in the sport.
Now 38 years old, Donaire has won world titles in four different weight divisions and was named "Fighter of the Year" in 2012.
In an interview on Boxing Scene, "The Filipino Flash" revealed that he still has a big goal that he believes he can achieve, despite all that he's already accomplished as a boxer.
"I have a dream which is to be the undisputed bantamweight champion," Donaire said. "At 38 years old, I think I am capable of doing it."
To do so, Donaire will have to beat French fighter Nordine Oubaali on May 29, which will give him the WBC bantamweight belt. It's a bout that's a long time coming: they were supposed to fight in December 2020, but Oubaali withdrew after testing positive for COVID-19.
Donaire was later pulled off the card as well after a positive COVID-19 test.
The bout with Oubaali will thus be Donaire's first fight since November 2019, when he engaged Japan's Naoya Inoue in a thrilling battle that was later named Fight of the Year by major publications. Inoue won the fight via unanimous decision to gain Donaire's WBA bantamweight belt as well as the IBF and The RING titles.
"I feel good," Donaire said ahead of his ring return.
"At 38 years old, I have had to change some things, take good care of my diet, train much better, but if I continue to feel this way, I will be able to fight for 5 or 10 more years," he added.
"I want to achieve many things, but first I have to show what I can do on May 29. We are ready to give a great fight and show that I am better than Oubaali. Without a doubt I believe that I am capable of knocking him out."
France's Oubaali is 34 years old and carries a 17-0 record, with 12 wins by knockout. He, too, last fought in November 2019 in the undercard of the Donaire-Inoue card. There, he defeated Takuma Inoue by unanimous decision to retain the WBC bantamweight championship.
Donaire acknowledged that Oubaali is "a good fighter."
"But he's never faced an opponent like me," he also said.
Should he be successful against the French fighter, Donaire says they will then pursue a rematch against Inoue.
"(Then), gather the rest of the belts," he said.
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