By: Sean Crose
Boxing returns to the Showtime airwaves this evening with a main event that should be of considerable interest. Former pound for pound ranked fighter Nonito Donaire hopes to keep defying the naysayers by giving another solid performance as he faces WBC Bantamweight champ Nordine Oubaali in a scheduled 12 rounder. Although the 40-6 Donaire is the more well known fighter here, it’s Oubaali with the belt. It’s also France’s Oubaali who has a lot to lose and everything to gain here should he best the famous Donaire in impressive fashion. At 17-0, Oubaali will also be putting his undefeated record on the line.
Donaire, it should be noted, has been on something of a hot streak, if three fights in the past three years can be considered a streak. For, after winning two in a row, Donaire faced the formidable Naoya Inoue late in 2019 in what turned out to be an instant classic. Although he lost the fight by unanimous decision, the aging Donaire looked so good that it was hard not to give the man a ton of credit for his performance. He had been considered over the hill, after all. The question, of course, is whether or not the 38 year old Donaire will look as good as he did against Inoue when he faces Oubaali tonight at Cason, California’s Dignity Healthy Sport’s Park.
Subriel Matias will also be on the card as he faces Batyrzhan Jukembayev in a scheduled 12 round super lightweight affair. There’s talk that Jukembayev may be the sport’s next big thing. Like Gennady Golovkin, the 30 year old is a product of Kazakhstan and possesses impressive power. At 18-0, only four of Jukembayev’s wins have been decided by the judges. As for Matias, the 29 year old native of Puerto Rico has but one loss on his resume. What’s more, all sixteen of his wins have come by way of knockout. This is a fight worth keeping an eye on.
Another rising power puncher will be on Saturday’s card, as Gary Antuanne Russell will do battle with Jovanie Santiago in a scheduled10 round super lightweight matchup. Santiago was last seen dropping a decision to Adrien Broner back in early 2020 in the 14-1-1 fighter’s only defeat. He may well have his work cut out for him against Russell, who has won all 13 of his victories by knockout and who hasn’t lost a single fight to date. Like the other fights on this televised card, this is an intriguing matchup.
The broadcast will begin live at 10 PM eastern time on Showtime.
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