Donaire to face former bantamweight champ as Oubaali contracts COVID-19

Can Nonito Donaire handle the younger opponents and reclaim his position at the top? (Jeff Holmes)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña


Filipino pride Nonito Donaire won’t be sharing the ring with World Boxing Council (WBC) title-holder Nordine Oubaali after tests showed that he was positive for COVID-19.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman then declared Oubaali as a champion in recess which means he will be stripped-off from his title momentarily.

Oubaali will be replaced by former world champion Emmanuel Rodriguez and is scheduled to square off with Donaire this coming December 19.

The winner of the Donaire-Rodriguez clash will then be honored as the WBC welterweight champion and will automatically face Oubaali as the champion in recess.

“Oubaali is positive for COVID-19. That is why he’s out of the fight,” said Bob Yalen, CEO of MTK Global in a statement.

Rodriguez is no stranger to title fights after holding the International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight title but lost it to Naoya Inoue.

Meanwhile, “The Filipino Flash” Donaire will try to notch win number 41 and will seek to stop Rodriguez from having a shot against Oubaali.