|Nonito Donaire is a world champion again at age 38. WBSS (file photo)|
MANILA—Nonito Donaire is back!
Donaire became a three-time bantamweight champ on Sunday (Philippine Time) after shocking erstwhile World Boxing Council belt holder Nordine Oubaali with a knockout win at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The 38-year-old Donaire stunned the then unbeaten Oubaali with three huge knockdowns, the last of which forced referee Jack Reiss to stop the contest midway into Round 4.
Donaire actually started picking up the pace in Round 2, using his height and reach advantage in tagging Oubaali with crisp shots.
Oubaali thought he turned things around early into Round 3 when he somehow dictated the pace.
But Donaire's patented left hook sent Oubaali down for the first time in his pro career with 46 seconds remaining in the round, turning the tides of the bout.
Oubaali somehow still got to tag Donaire with a 1-2 combination with just four seconds remaining, but the latter appeared to have beaten the third round bell with another left hook that even made the former confused on where his corner was located.
The end came at the 1:46 mark of Round 4 when Donaire unleashed a three-punch combo capped by a left uppercut that forced Reiss to save Oubaali from further damage.
Donaire, now at 41-6 with 27 knockouts, became the oldest bantamweight champion of all time as he reasserts his might as a four-division world champion.
He has a lot of options of who to fight next, including possible unification bouts against Filipino opponents interim WBC champ Reymark Gaballo and WBO holder John Riel Casimero and rematches against current WBA regular champ Guillermo Rigondeaux and WBA super, IBF, and Ring Magazine champ Naoya Inoue.
Oubaali, on the other hand, lost for the first time after a solid 17-0 start to his professional career.
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