Filipino warrior and future Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire not only made boxing history with his hugely impressive KO win over Nordine Oubaali on Saturday night, he not only won another world title, and he didn’t merely rejuvenate his career in one big way – “The Filipino Flash” also set himself up for what could be a great rematch. It was in November of 2019 when Donaire went to war with “Monster” Naoya Inoue.
It was a great fight, in fact 2019’s FOTY, and Donaire pushed Inoue harder than anyone had ever done before. The thrilling 12-round battle saw Donaire hit the mat, but it also saw Donaire break Inoue’s orbital bone. It was indeed an epic fight. And Nonito wants to do it all over again, but with him walking away with the win this time.
Speaking after his WBC title win over Oubaali, 38 year old Donaire said he so badly wanted the win on Saturday night because it would allow him to embark on his “next goal.”
“The only thing I haven’t done in boxing is become undisputed [champion],” Nonito said. “And the next phase is getting the rematch [with Inoue].”
As special as Inoue-Donaire fight-one was, who wouldn’t want to see it again? Donaire, 41-6(27) showed in the November 2019 modern classic that he has plenty left to offer at elite level, and he reminded us all again on Saturday how he is still a great fighter to be reckoned with. Inoue’s next assignment is a June 19th defence of his WBA and IBF bantamweight titles against yet another Filipino, in Michael Dasmarinas. But assuming Inoue, 20-0(17) wins that fight, why not a rematch with Donaire after that, for three world title belts?
Can Donaire get the revenge win over the Japanese superstar if the rematch happens? If so, the win Donaire scored over Oubaali would be small fry in comparison. It seems that, at age 38, “The Filipino Flash” is as determined, as hungry and as motivated as ever.
No matter what comes next, and for however long Donaire is around, let’s appreciate and celebrate this amazing fighter while we can.