Age might be a number, but no matter how old a fighter his power never leaves him.
Just ask now former WBA bantamweight Nordine Oubaali.
38-year-old Nonito Donaire became the oldest boxer to win the bantamweight crown by starching Oubaali in round four at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA. Saturday night.
The end was sudden and stunning.
Oubaali, a southpaw came out boxing in round one. He fired his right jab a number of times. He also went to the body. Underdog Donaire, like a silent assassin, stalked and played defense. Oubaali used lateral movement in round two.
Donaire [41-6, 28 KOs] walked after him, landing a few right hands and his big left hook. He was getting closer.
Oubaali [17-1, 12 KOs] cracked Donaire with an overhand left in round three. The taller Donaire fired more rights while Oubaali flurried. The edge was his, but not for much longer.
In the final minute of the heat, Donaire, a four-division titleholder, let fly with his trademark left hook. The shot landed perfectly, flooring Oubaali. The Frenchman barely beat the count, and tried to fight back, only to have Donaire pursue with hunger.
With seconds to go in the round, another left hook sent Oubaali down for a second time. He beat the fatal 10 count but was hurt and shaky.
The minute rest did him no good. Donaire got right in Oubaali grill in round four. He stalked and rocked, eating a left without blinking. Forcing the buzzed fighter to the ropes, Donaire unleashed a powerful right and left that collapsed Oubaali for the third and final time. Referee Jack Reiss took one look at the stricken fighter and waved the bout off.
The time was 1:52 seconds into round four.
“The king has returned,” said Donaire with a smile. “I love the crowd. Thank you boxing fans. It doesn’t matter what my age is, it matters how strong you’re mentally. Being at this age is not the question, it’s about my performance. About my ability to grow.
“What I learned from the [Naoya] Inoue fight is that I’m back. I can still compete at this level. The whole time I was not fighting, I was learning. I’m ready for the next one.”
Source: John J. Raspanti