In a wonderful night at the war grounds known as Dignity Health Sports Park, Nonito Donaire made history by becoming the oldest bantamweight champion at the age of 38 as he stopped Nordine Oubaali of France, and gained the WBC bantamweight title.
Nonito turned back time and closed the show with his infamous left hook.
In the first round, Oubaali came out sharp, mixing up the jab whereas Donaire was taking his time trying to figure Oubaali out. As the second round started, Donaire started to time his shots and counter well, catching Oubaali with his trademark left hook.. but Oubaali took it well.
Donaire came out with a big left hook to start the third, which didn’t land, but he was moving Oubaali into range. That left hook then detonated, and then down went Oubaali. He was up on shaky legs. Donaire took his time and put Oubaali down again at the end of the round. Oubaali seemed to be out on his feet but Jack Reiss spent a good amount of time making sure he could continue before allowing him back to his corner.
Oubaali came out strong to start the fourth, to show that he was fine, and Donaire seemed to be taking his time and loading up on that left hook. Then it happened– Donaire caught Oubaali, with a left uppercut, and Jack Reiss waved it off.
The co feature saw Subriel Matias of Puerto Rico 17-1 (16KO’s) stop Batyrzhan Jukembayev 18-1 of Kazakhstan. The fight was an IBF Junior Welterweight eliminator. Jukembayev had moments early but Matias overwhelmed and eventually stopped Jukembayev, when Jukembayev’s corner pulled him out at the end of the 8th round.
The first fight of the Showtime-televised card saw the 2016 U.S. Olympian Gary Antuanne Russell 14-0 (14 KOs) come up against Jovanie Santiago of Puerto Rico 14-2-1. Russell dominated the bout with sharp punches to the body and head of Santiago, who didn’t have an answer for Russell before his corner pulled him out at the end of the fifth round.
Russel looks a good prospect and a fun one to watch.