Fighter Of The Week: Nordine Oubaali

In a relatively quiet weekend for the sweet science Nordine Oubaali, of France, defended his WBC bantamweight title in spectacular fashion, vowed to unify, and picked up our Fighter Of The Week award. Oubaali outclassed a high caliber opponent in Arthur Villanueva of the Philippines, who had been in the ring with the likes of McJoe Arroyo, Luis Nery, Zolani Tete, and others and figured to be stiff competition for the newly crowned champion, but was instead dominated and blown away in six one-sided rounds. The Frenchmen ran his record to a perfect 16-0 (12). It was the initial defense of his WBC crown, a belt he won back in January when he defeated Rau’shee Warren via UD. Despite being, 32 years old the Frenchmen is just now hitting his prime and has continued to improve and look more and more impressive in each of his last several outings.

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Oubaali, a two-time Olympian, came out offensively minded from the opening bell as if he was shot out of a cannon he overwhelmed the outmatched Villaneuva with a relentless two-fisted attack. The champion never taped the breaks, landing big left-hands out of his southpaw stance. The Filipino challenger never got a moment’s rest and never really mount much offense, rather he spent the entire night trying to avoid the heavy artillery that was raining in from his opponent. Every time the challenger did try to open up and mount any offense it was immediately snuffed out as Oubaali would beat his opponent to the punch time and time again scoring with left hands and right hooks that eventually broke the challenger down and caused referee Jose Guadalupe Garcia to call a halt to the bout between rounds six and seven. Officially giving Oubaali a sixth-round TKO victory. His left-hand and tireless attack was certainly the story of the night as the tough challenger had no answers for either.

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It’s a good time to be a bantamweight, with wins over both Warren and Villanueva already in 2019, Ouballi is making a solid case to be considered in the fighter of the year discussion. In the post-fight interview, the WBC champ vowed to unify titles later in the year. If he sticks to that, it would mean a mega-fight against either the Inoue-Doanire winner or Zolani Tete. All three of those fighters are held in the highest regard. A win against any of those names would not only make Oubaali the breakthrough fighter of the year it would also give him a good case for 2019’s Fighter Of The Year.

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