Donaire, Dasmariñas in world title bids
By Joaquin Henson
Wed, 07 Apr 2021
Donaire (L) and Dasmariñas.
Two Filipinos are lined up to fight for world titles as Nonito Donaire, Jr. takes on WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali of France on May 29 and Michael Dasmariñas battles super WBA/IBF bantamweight king Noaya Inoue on June 19 with venues still to be confirmed. It’s likely the thrice-postponed Donaire-Oubaali bout will be held at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut while Inoue will stake his belts in Las Vegas.
Donaire, 38, is gunning for his 10th world crown after collecting the IBF/IBO flyweight, interim WBA superflyweight, super WBA/WBC/WBO bantamweight, IBF/WBO superbantamweight and WBA featherweight straps. “For how, I’m focusing on the bantamweight division and I want all four belts,” said Donaire. Oubaali, 34, is no stranger to Donaire as they’ve sparred in the past. “Oubaali can box and fight and can be difficult to hit,” noted Donaire. “But he hasn’t fought anyone with my power.”
Oubaali, a two-time Olympian, is rich in amateur experience but as a pro, he’s a novice compared to Donaire. The Frenchman has a 17-0 record, with 12 KOs while Donaire boasts a 40-6 mark, with 26 KOs. Donaire turned pro in 2001, 13 years before Oubaali’s debut. Oubaali is a “stamina” fighter and a volume puncher who uses the amateur style to pile up points. Former US Olympic boxing coach Kenny Adams said Oubaali is “nothing special but he’s tough.” Oubaali is Donaire’s stepping stone for a rematch with Inoue. Both Donaire and Oubaali haven’t fought since they were on the same card in Saitama in November 2019 when the Filipino Flash lost to Inoue and the Frenchman outpointed the Japanese champion’s brother Takuma.
Dasmariñas, 28, is the IBF’s No. 1 contender who hasn’t lost in his last 13 outings since 2014. MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons said, “Michael has a very hard fight and I hope for the best … he just needs to get in really fantastic shape, have good sparring and a good fight plan and box and use angles with Inoue … Inoue is easy to hit and Michael needs to box smart and not get into a toe-to-toe battle early … win the little strategic battles to win the war.” Dasmariñas’ record is 30-2-1, with 20 KOs. Inoue, 27, totes a 20-0 slate, with 17 KOs. With long, spindly arms, the 5-7 Dasmariñas is two inches taller than Inoue and is a smaller version of Tommy Hearns.
Dasmariñas’ manager Art Monis said the plan is to leave for Las Vegas early next month. “Todo training si Michael,” said Monis who set up camp in La Union. “Ka-sparring niya si Carl Jammes Martin hanggang April 15 at may laban si Martin ng May 1. Nakuha ko si Ken Jordan as sparring partner simula April 20. Maganda sana ka-sparring si K. J. Cataraja kaso manganganak Misis niya this month at ‘di niya maiwanan so naghanap pa ako ng ibang kanan na mabilis. Pinaginsayo ni Michael na mabuti ang counter straight at body shot at biglang hook.”
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