Donaire KO's Oubaali in 4; Wins WBC Bantamweight Title
Photos - Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
Newly crowned WBC bantamweight champion and future Hall of Famer "The Filipino Flash" Nonito Donaire (41-6, 26 KOs) of San Leandro, California by way of the Philippines once again became world champion by knocking out previously undefeated Nordine Oubaali (17-1, 12 KOs) of France Saturday night at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Starting off with the jab, Oubaali and Donaire figured each other out. Oubaali began to let his hands go in the second but Donaire swung wildly as the champ proceeded cautiously. Going toe to toe, a huge left hook by Donaire dropped Oubaali as he was up but another left hook found its mark once again dropping Oubaali face first to finish the round. Donaire finished Oubaali in the fourth dropping him for a third time with a left hook, right uppercut combination as referee Jack Reiss waived the bout at 1:52 of the fourth.
With the win Donaire becomes the WBC champion at 38 years old as he wants a rematch with WBO bantamweight champ Naoya Inoue.
Puerto Rico's Subriel Matias (17-1, 17 KOs) stopped Batyr Jukembayev (18-1, 14 KOs) of Kazakhstan at the end of round eight in an IBF junior welterweight title eliminator in the co-feature bout of the evening. Going toe to toe inside in the first two rounds, Matias and Jukembayev didnt take step a back. In the fourth round, Matias dropped Jukembayev with a right hand. Continuing to fight, Jukembayev regained his composure and connected solidly.
Matias was the aggressor in the fifth pressing as Jukembayev boxed off the jab keeping his distance. Halfways through the Puerto Rican Matias continued to land big shots on Jukembayev. In the seventh, the Kazakh fighter landed a clean power shot that staggered Matias to end the round. Matias continued to attack as Jukembayev's right eye was swollen shut. Jukembayev did not come out for the ninth round.
Opening up the Showtime telecast unbeaten 2016 U.S. Olympian Gary Antuanne Russell (14-0, 14 KOs) stopped Jovanie Santiago (14-2-1, 10 KOs) of Puerto Rico in a 10-round super lightweight. Russell let his hands go from the start connecting with the solid straight left but Santiago pressed despite getting tagged. The hand speed was evident from Russell in round two as he outworked Santiago and beat him to the punch. It was all Russell in round three as he outworked and connected Santiago with a series of punches. In round four, a short a right hand by Russell dropped Santiago as he was up quickly but Russell went for the finish as he connected with a series of power punches as the Puerto Rican held on.
Coming out for the fifth round, Russell boxed patiently working the jab as Santiago was cut above his eye. Letting his hands go in the sixth, Russell backed Santiago with power shots and continued to chop him down connecting with the right hook. Santiago's corner had seen enough as they stopped the fight at the end of the sixth round.
Super lightweight Kevin Johnson (9-2, 5 KOs) handed Luis Salazar (15-1, 3 KOs) from the Dominican Republic his first defeat. It was fast paced from the start as Salazar and Johnson exchanged inside, Salazar was trickling blood from the nose in the second round, a short right hand by Johnson drilled Salazar sending him to the canvas as he was but the right hand by Johnson found its mark sending Salazar to the canvas a second time. Johnson was aggressive to begin the fourth attacking a bloodied Salazar. The blood continued to flow from Salazar in the fifth round as Johnson continued his attack. Countering effectively in the sixth, Johnson connected Salazar with solid rights as the Dominican's face was covered in blood. A left hook by Johnson sat Salazar down to end the seventh round. Johnson finished Salazar the following round in the as he dropped him for the fourth time in the fight 17 seconds of the eighth.
Bantamweight Alejandro Barrios (24-2-5, 12 KO's) of Tijuana, Mexico scored a second round knockout over Juan Gabriel Medina (12-7, 11 KOs). Barrios dropped Medina with a barrage of punches as referee reached a ten count at 2:59 of the second.
Light heavyweight Atif Olberton (2-0, 2 KO) of Philadelphia scored a second round knockout over Larry Pryor (14-24, 8 KOs). Olberton sent Pryor to the canvas in the final seconds of the opening round. A body shot from Olberton did it in the second as Pryor was up but struggled as referee Jack Reiss stopped the fight.
In the opening bout from the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California super featherweight prospect Rey Diaz (5-0, 2 KOs') of Las Vegas, won a unanimous decision over Sergio Gonzalez (3-4, 2 KO's) of Compton, California. It was a competitive bout and in in the last round Gonzalez dropped Diaz, as Gonzalez went for the finish Diaz held on and avoided the looping punches. All three judges scored the bout 38-37 for Diaz.
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