Later today we'll see a much anticipated WBC Bantamweight title fight as defending champion Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12) defends his title against mandatory challenger Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26), in a mouth watering clash between two veterans.
Yesterday the two men took part in their weigh in and both men managed to hit the scales at an identical weight of 117.5lbs for the bout.
The contest was ordered way back in late 2019 but due to Covid issues, both indirectly, causing the boxing calendar to really be messed up in 2020, and directly, with Oubaali suffering from the virus directly, the bout has been delayed several times. That lengthy delay has seen both men out of the ring for around 18 months, yet both looked in fantastic shape at the weigh in and it showed the two men were still very much professionals who have real desire to come out on top here.
For fans wanting to watch the bout it will be aired live on Showtime in the US, FITE TV for much of the world and on WOWOW Prime in Japan.
Preview - Oubaali faces Donaire in WBC mandatory title bout!
Earlier today Dan Rafael, writing for Boxingscene.com, reported the latest update in regards to the long running saga between WBC Bantamweight champion Nodine Oubaali (17-0, 12) and his mandatory challenger Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26).
According to Dan Rafael's report (which can be read here) the new plan is for the bout to take place on May 29th on Showtime, though a venue hasn't yet been sorted for the show.
The whole saga in regards to this bout goes back December 2019, when the WBC ordered the bout, instilling Donaire as the mandatory for Oubaali. That was after an eliminator between Luis Nery and Emmanuel Rodriguez fell apart with Nery unable to make weight. We then had the purse bids in January with TGB Promotions winning the right to hold the fight with a bid of $401,000.
Since then there has been a huge number of twists and turns. The most notable of those was the covid19 pandemic which pretty much put boxing on ice for a good portion of 2020. When boxing did return to the US the bout was planned for December 12th, as part of a brilliant showtime line up. And a line that, for the most part, went to plan which was a huge surprise given the Covid pandemic.
Sadly however there were some bouts that didn't end up happening from that Showtime line up, the most notable of which was the Oubaali Vs Donaire bout, which was cancelled in November when Oubaali tested positive for the virus, he would later be named "Champion in Recess".
As a result the WBC set up a bout between Donaire and Emmanuel Rodriguez for the title. Those plans were scuppered in December when Donaire tested positive, in what seems to have been a false positive.
Due to Donaire testing positive Rodriguez then faced, and controversially lost to, Reymart Gaballo for the WBC "interim" title. A result that lead the WBC to ordering a rematch. Whilst we awaited the rematch the plan was to begin work on re-arranging the Oubaali Vs Donaire bout, though Oubaali was originally granted permission to make a voluntary defense.
That voluntary defense would have seen Oubaali battle Nawaphon Nakornloung Promotion, aka Nawaphon Por Chokchai or Nawaphon Kaikanha, on March 13th in Paris. Before the fight fell through due Covid restrictions in France and the TV broadcaster also pulled out of the bout.
Rather shockingly both men will have been out of the ring since November 2019, when both men fought on the same show. That was was back on November 7th 2019 when Donaire lost a 12 round decision to Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥] in the WBSS final and Oubaali took a decision over Naoya's younger brother Takuma Inoue [井上拓真], to unify the WBC regular and interim titles. If the bout does take place in May, then it'll be almost 19 months since either man last fought!
Back in December we saw a mess being created around WBC Bantamweight title as circumstancs came to result in several messes at once.
Firstly there was positive Covid19 test for Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12) in November, scuppering a scheduled mandatory title defense with Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26). Oubaali was then designated the WBC "champion in recess" with Donaire then scheduled to face a different opponent for the full world title title.
That was before Donaire himself tested positive for Covid19, in what now seems to have been a false positive. That meant Donaire was out of the bout.
Following Donaire's positive test he was replaced by fellow Filipino Reymart Gaballo (24-0, 21) who defeated former IBF Bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-2, 12), in highly debated fashion, to claim the WBC "interim" title. A title that was created due to Donaire needing to pull out.
Earlier this year the WBC re-assessed Oubaali's "Champion in recess" status, and designated him as the normal champion, giving him back the status he had before his positive test. He will now be allowed to make a voluntary defense, which seems likely to be in March, before taking on Donaire later in 2021.
Today the WBC have now confirmed the future of their interim champion, announcing that Gaballo has been ordered to rematch Rodriguez, due to the controversial result in their December bout.
The WBC explained that "After a formal appeal was received by the WBC a committee of ring officials completed a thorough analysis and review of the match, resulting in the order of free negotiations for an immediate rematch between Gaballo and Rodríguez."
We suspect the plan, longer term, is that the winner of Oubaali, his March opponent and Donaire, will take on the winner of Gaballo Vs Rodriguez II down the line. Though that is quite some way off for now.
Tomorrow we'll see the much anticipated WBC Minimumweight title bout between Wanheng Menayothin (54-0, 18) [วันเฮง มีนะโยธิน], aka Chayaphon Moonsri, and Petchmanee CP Freshmart (34-1, 22), aka Panya Pradabsri.
The bout will be the 13th defense for the unbeaten champion who will be looking to extend his unbeaten record to 55-0 and become the first 35 year old to defend the WBC Minimumweight title. It will also be Panya's first world title bout, and his most significant bout since his 2017 loss in China to Xiong Zhao Zhong, and the 13th time two Thai's have clashed in a world title bout.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest and both men have successfully made weight for the contest.
On the scales Wanheng had no issues at all, coming in at 104.7lbs for the contest, comfortably under the 105lb Minimumweight limit. At the weigh in he looked in good shape, though he did appear slightly gaunt around the face and shoulders. Though in saying that he does have a boney face and it's possible that the weight loss just amplified his facial structure rather than him actually being drained. Incidentally his goatee, which had made some waves on social media, has now been removed.
Panya on the other hand did struggle somewhat, coming in over weight on his first visit to the scales, at around 105.2lbs. He then went on to remove his underwear and managed to make the limit dead on. Like the champion he looked in good shape, and we don't think he really struggled as much as the stripping naked would suggest, and would actually go as far as to assume it was a minor blip rather than a real struggle.
For those interested in watching this bout it will be shown on Channel 7 HD in Thailand, with a time slot between 13:45 and 15:45 local time. It's also expected that the Petchyindee Kingdom facebook page will how the bout.
Related - Wanheng and Panya clash in 13th Bloodline Battle (Preview)
The Thai Bloodline Battles (A look at the history of the Bloodline Battles)
(Image credit - Petchyindee)
According to sources in Thailand there may a large and destructive stumbling block in the way of the much anticipated rematch between WBC Super Flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada (41-3, 28) and WBA "super" champion Roman Gonzalez (50-2, 41). And it's a man that both fighters know well.
According to article on Komthai (the site that was formerly Thairec), the WBC have now sent instructions to both Estrada's team and that of former 2-time WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (49-5-1, 42) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] to negotiate a deal between the two men, to close off what would be a fantastic trilogy between the two.
The article states that on Monday night the president of the WBC ordered both teams to begin the negotiations process to organise a bout between the men, essentially ordering the two men into a mandatory title bout. The teams were also, reportedly, told that if an agreement cannot be reached the bout will go to purse bids on December 1st in Mexico City.
Srisaket is quoted as saying "I am really happy to hear this good news. Thanks to President Mauricio Suleiman and the WBC World Boxing Council Committee members for giving this order as promised. I will prepare as best as possible in my life and will definitely not disappoint you and the WBC."
Although both men have got connects to Matchroom USA, as does Roman Gonzalez, it does seem unlikely that Srisaket and his Thai team will be willing to wait too long for this shot given that he's already 33, and turns 34 in December, an age where Super Flyweights to have limited success.
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