Nordine Oubaali is set to finally defend his WBC bantamweight title against Nonito Donaire Saturday night on Showtime, a fight that has been about a year in the making and delayed various times.
Oubaali (17-0, 12 KO) is unbeaten and a legitimate top bantamweight, not just someone who holds a title belt. But Donaire (40-6, 26 KO) is something of a step up, and also a chance to truly confirm how good he is. If Donaire is still what we saw against Naoya Inoue in 2019, he’s definitely a step up for Oubaali, and even if not, the Filipino legend still represents by far the biggest name Oubaali has faced.
“Nonito Donaire is a big name and he’s been a world champion in a lot of different divisions. He’s strong, but I know what he can do and I know what my strategy is,” Oubaali said. “I think we have similar styles, because we both like to stand and fight. He’s a strong fighter with a great technique, but I’m just going to do my best with whatever situations present themselves on fight night.
“My strength is being able to adapt to any style. I will feel the fight out. For me, boxing is like chess. Every time he makes a move, I have to counter it. I will respond to however Nonito comes forward and make the fight go the way I want it to.”
How to Watch Oubaali vs Donaire
Date: Saturday, May 29 | Start Time: 10:00 pm ET
Location: Dignity Health Sports Park - Carson, CA
Streaming: Showtime | TV: Showtime
Online Coverage: BadLeftHook.com
For now, Oubaali is the betting favorite, likely owing to being the younger man and Donaire’s long layoff, but the Frenchman says that’s not something he thinks about.
“I stay focused on the fight. The favorite is whoever has their hand raised at the end,” he said. “I’m the champion and in my mind, I’m the best fighter in the division. I know why I came here, and that’s to get the job done. I came here to stay champion.”
A win over Donaire would set Oubaali up for something big again in his next outing, and he wants either the top dog Inoue or the winner of the August fight between John Riel Casimero and Guillermo Rigondeaux.
“I’m the best bantamweight in the world. I’m going to give a great fight on Saturday so that everyone knows,” he said.
“I want all the bantamweights to know that I’m ready for them. I want to fight the best. I’m ready for the winner of John Riel Casimero vs Guillermo Rigondeaux or Naoya Inoue. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. I know that I’m the best. Now I need to win and show the world.”