How crazy is it that a 38 year old guy who fights clean, who looked like he was playing out the string in 2016-2018, when he lost outings to Jessie Magdaleno and Carl Frampton, who made the surprising and massively challenging move to drop DOWN from 126 to 118 pounds…how crazy is it that Nonito Donaire won the weekend?
Rhetorical question, my friends.
Going into his fight with Nordine Oubaali, only a buffoon would have written off the Filipino-born California resident…But the WAY he did it, the manner in which he finished off the lefty from France, well, Donaire deserves all the acclaim he’s gotten.
Further, he deserves for that acclaim to get acknowledged more often, and to be talked about as a pound for pounder right now. Where is he, actually, in your pound for pound top 20? While you ponder that, here is what the NYF Crew said when I asked ’em who won the weekend.
“Nonito Donaire won the weekend! Right from the start, you knew it was going to be a good night for the thirty-eight year old veteran as he had that signature bounce going,” said Abe Gonzalez, editor at NY Fights. “The times that he didn’t have it and came out flat footed were the ones that led to some long nights for him in the ring. The situation is unfolding perfectly for Showtime as they have the opportunity for another unification if they can line him up with the winner of Casimero vs Rigondeaux in August. To take it a step further, imagine a Donaire vs. Inoue fight for the undisputed crown next summer? Wow! For now, let’s give “The Filipino Flash” the award for winning the weekend and further solidifying a Hall of Fame career.”
“I confess, Nonito Donaire made a fool out of me,” said David Phillips of NY Fights. “I thought he was too old and got too much credit for losing his last fight in competitive fashion. Boy, was I ever wrong. To be fair, The Filipino Flash is 38-years-old, had lost three of his last six bouts, and I never thought he was the same after being TKO’d by Nicholas Walters in 2014. In a way, I wasn’t wrong, because Saturday night (and who knows? maybe only for Saturday night), he was better. Let me also throw in a little love for his post-fight interview where he took a stand against Asian hate. As Jimmy Cannon once said of Joe Louis, “He is a credit to his race, the human race.” That quote applies to Nonito Donaire as well.”
“Not watched anything this weekend – only caught the headlines,” said Pete Carvill of NY Fights. “So from that shallow bit of knowledge, I’m also going to say Nonito Donaire. And doesn’t time fly, but I remember when he was being pegged as one to watch nearly TWENTY YEARS AGO!?”
“While this was supposed to be Devin Haney’s ‘coming out party,’ Nonito Donaire definitely stole the weekend,” said Jacob Rodriguez of NY Fights. “While Devin Haney put all his skills on display and was putting on a boxing clinic through the first half of the fight, his suspect chin and the hugging soiree in the later rounds left most fans still questioning his legitimacy as a world champion. Therefore, he left the door open for an exceptional performance by any other fighter to steal his thunder. Nonito Donaire walked through that open door with ease and stole the weekend with an exceptional performance that culminated with a knockout over Nordine Oubaali and his becoming the oldest fighter to capture the bantamweight world title. In doing so Nonito cemented his legacy if he hadn’t done so already.”
“I don’t usually go with the obvious pick but this week it no doubt was Nonito Donaire,” said Matt Andrzejewski of Boxing Betting on NY Fights. “What he has accomplished inside the ring is amazing and been written about quite a bit the last 48 plus hours. But let’s also not forget that Donaire is a great ambassador of the sport. Clean living and a great attitude can take you a long way in boxing and Donaire is the prime example.”
“I’m going in a different direction than most,” said Vladimir Lik, of RING and NY Fights. “Devin Haney won the weekend. There were enough people on Twitter who said Linares was going to upset him and instead Haney may have won every minute of the first 8 rounds and 2 minutes and 55 seconds of the 9th. Then we watched as Haney got rocked with a hard right hand. Haney was hurt. We watched closely as a 22-year-old used the ring IQ of a grizzled veteran to hold on and survive the remaining rounds. Was it the best performance ever? Hardly. It was enough to say Haney is not an email champion and he’s a level of not few levels above the likes of Linares. We don’t know if Haney beats Teofimo, Ryan or Gervonta but at least with the performance this weekend we will have a chance to see it. We hope!”
“Nonito Donaire won the weekend,” said Gayle Falkenthal, the publicist. “The 38-year-old won it for the ‘olds,’ for clean living, and for positive thinking. Donaire used the COVID layoff to create the best version of himself, driven by a strong mind in a healthy body. He came to Carson brimming with confidence and he wouldn’t be denied. Nordine Oubaali got run over by a 118-pound freight train. For those of us who’ve admired The Filipino Flash in and out of the ring, it’s a victory on every level. Nonito is a credit to boxing. He’s the first and still one of the few to participate in VADA testing 365 days a year (give him a call, Monsieur Pascal). He’s never turned down a challenge. He is a family man, he gives back to his community, and Saturday night he used his platform to stand up against Asian hate. He’s earned every bit of acclaim. I picked Nonito Donaire to win and I don’t think he’s done yet. Nonito, say hello to Phil Mickelson and Helio Castroneves in the Father Time Hall of Fame.”
“Is there even a debate? Nordine Oubaali must not have known he was fighting the Filipino Flash, because he showed no respect for Donaire’s power by standing in front of him,” said Ryan Songalia of RING. “He paid a heavy price for it.”
“Nonito Donaire won the weekend,” said Anson Wainwright of RING. “He rolled back the years and definitively stopped reigning WBC bantamweight titleholder Nordine Oubaali in four rounds. At 38, he’s the oldest fighter to ever win a bantamweight title. He looked terrific and for me is the first fighter that comes to mind when asked this question.”
“I am echoing Jim Gray from his post-fight interview with Nonito Donaire — we are witnessing true greatness on par with Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, said publicist Bernie Bahrmasel. “Nonito has elevated the sport of boxing since he turned professional and the sport is in a better place when he fights. We are all better boxing fans having watched him all these years.”
“Nonito Donaire won the weekend,” said ex fighter Tommy Rainone, of Fightnight Live. “He cemented his legacy and status as one of the greatest fighters that the sport ever saw under 126 pounds.”
“Gotta go with the majority consensus so far and that is Nonito Donaire,” said Hamza Ahmed, of NY Fights. “I thought Oubaali would stick and move a lot more but standing in front of Donaire like he did, without any lateral movement, coupled with Donaire packing nukes at 118, was a disastrous idea which led to a disastrous ending for Oubaali. That said, credit for Donaire for making history as the oldest bantamweight champion in boxing, 14 years after his first title win. I had written him off following each of his past 5 losses but a permanent move down to 118 appears to have inspired a late career renaissance and honestly, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Donaire is genuinely one of the true gentlemen of the sport left. The guy’s classy, honourable and so humble and likable and I hope he’s able to put a more $ in the bank before he calls it a day and takes his rightful place in Canastota.”