LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Nonito Donaire used a powerful left hook and three knockdowns to become the oldest fighter to win a bantamweight title with a fourth round knockout of WBC champion Nordine Oubaali on Saturday night in Los Angeles.
The 38-year-old Donaire reach up and turned back the hands of time at the Dignity Sports Health Park venue as he reclaimed the WBC title that he held in 2011.
The Filipino fighter is also the oldest, at 38 years and 204 days, to win a bantamweight world title, breaking the mark he set in 2018 when he was 35 and captured the WBA belt.
Donaire knocked the French champion down twice in the third round and then finished him off halfway through the fourth round with a stinging upper cut to raise his record to 41-6 with 27 knockouts.
In the third round, Donaire scored his first knockdown with two consecutive left hooks that led to referee Jack Reiss giving Oubaali a standing eight count.
Oubaali got up but was in still in a fog and defenseless when the Filipino dropped him a second time with a devastating left as the bell sounded to end the round. Reiss gave Oubaali another standing count after the bell. Oubaali was on wobbly legs and clearly in trouble as he didn’t seem to know which direction his corner was at.
Donaire ended the fight in the fourth by landing a combination followed by an uppercut that sent Oubaali to the canvas for the third time.