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Nonito Donaire Tries to Break His Own Record and Make History Again

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  • Nonito Donaire Tries to Break His Own Record and Make History Again

    Although he already has a legacy that will catapult him into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Filipino star Nonito "The Flash" Donaire will try to break his own record when he faces Mexican Alejandro Santiago on a date and place yet to be determined.

    Donaire, born 40 years ago in Talibon, Philippines, and based for years in Las Vegas, Nevada, inscribed his name in the bantamweight division, becoming the oldest fighter to win a world championship belt.

    The event occurred on May 29, 2021, in Carson, California, where the Tagalog anesthetized French southpaw Nordine Oubaali (17-1, 12 KOs) in the fourth round. Oubaali was defending the 118-pound WBC belt for the third time.

    Superior in technique and experience, Donaire dropped Oubaali in the third round and again in the fourth, whereupon referee Jack Reiss put an end to the duel, deeming the Frenchman unfit to continue. That night, Donaire was 38 years, six months and 13 days old.

    The WBC has ordered that Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs), currently ranked first at 118 pounds, face Mexican Alejandro Santiago (27-3-5, 14 KOs) in order to fill the vacancy left by undefeated, undisputed champion Japanese Naoya Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs) who decided to migrate to 122 pounds in search of his fourth world championship. With that move, Naoya also relinquished the other three bantamweight titles of the WBA, IBF and WBO.

    The WBC announced that Filipino Reymart Gaballo (25-1, 21 KOs) will have to cross gloves with Thai Nawaphon Kaikanka (57-2-1, 47 KOs) and the winner will fight the victor of Donaire vs Santiago.

    If Donaire and Gaballo both come out unscathed from their respective fights, then they will be meeting again for the second time. They faced each other in December 2021 in Carson, California where Donaire won by knockout in the fourth-round while defending his WBC bantamweight belt.

    Donaire faced Inoue twice, and on both occasions the Japanese came out with his arm raised. In November 2019 at the Super Arena, in Saitama, Inoue won by unanimous decision. Named the TSS Fight of the Year, that contest was during the finals of the World Boxing Super Series. Donaire held the IBF belt while Inoue had the WBA super champion belt.

    On June 7, 2022, three years later and casting aside any possible doubts, Inoue applied chloroform to Donaire in the second round of the rematch. With that win, Inoue retained the IBF and WBA titles while taking the WBC title from Donaire, which he had won when he beat Oubaali a year earlier.

    Born 27 years ago in Tijuana, Mexico, Santiago is 13 years younger than Donaire (who turns 41 on November 16) and understandably has less experience than the former four-division champion. Donaire began his professional boxing career in 2001, while Santiago debuted 11 years later.

    In his most recent bout, on October 29th in Glendale, California, Santiago defeated American Antonio Nieves (20-4-2, 11 KOs) after seven rounds when Nieves’ corner stopped the fight. His last defeat was inflicted by majority decision to American southpaw Gary Russell (19-1, 12 KOs) in November 2021, in Las Vegas. Heading into that match, he had a 20-fight unbeaten streak that included four draws.

    Article submitted by Jorge Juan Álvarez in Spanish.

    Please note any adjustments made were for clarification purposes and any errors in translation were unintentional.