Boxing: New champ Donaire 'stronger than ever'

Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 30 2021 04:15 PM

Boxing: New champ Donaire 'stronger than ever' 1
Nonito Donaire celebrates after knocking down France's Nordine Oubaali in their WBC bantamweight title bout. Sean Michael Ham, TGB Promotions

CARSON, California -- "The Filipino Flash" is back.

It took less than four rounds for Nonito Donaire to make history while becoming a world champion once again.

Donaire took the WBC bantamweight title in front of a socially distant crowd at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California that included fellow Filipino boxer Mark Magsayo, members of the Black Eyed Peas, and many proud Filipinos.

Donaire dropped France's Nordine Oubaali twice in the third round before finishing him off in the fourth round.

"I've proven to the world -- I'm back and I'm stronger than ever," Donaire declared.

"I knew it wasn't going past six rounds, not because I was cocky. I was confident in my ability to know exactly what I need to do in there, the strategy we put together," he added.

Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News

This was the 20th world title fight that Donaire has been involved in.

By beating the 34-year-old, two-time Olympian Oubaali, the 38-year-old Donaire is now the oldest 118-pounder to win a world championship, breaking the record of another Filipino champion in Gerry Penalosa.

"That's amazing. Gerry's a very good friend of mine," said Donaire.

"It's an honor to be here and fight a guy who was really good," he added. "I thought I could block a lot of his punches he was technically sound. The only I thing I caught onto was his pattern. And the moment I caught onto his pattern is when I realized it's good."

After his record-setting victory, the "Filipino Flash" says there is no stopping him in his plan to collect more world titles, beating opponents -- and Father Time -- in the process.

Donaire will be keeping a close watch on several high profile bantamweight fights, as he plans on unifying all the belts -- even if it means potentially fighting other Filipinos including WBO champion Johnriel Casimero, and Michael Dasmarinas who is in line to challenge Japan's Naoya Inoue.

"There's a Filipino champion regardless," said Donaire.

"For me now, it's getting that goal and that is winning and becoming undisputed," he stressed.

As Donaire waits for the bantamweight picture to settle over the next two months, he says he looks forward to spending some family time with the kids as pandemic restrictions ease up.