NONITO “The Filipino Flash” Donaire is a world champion once again after knocking out erstwhile champ Nordine Oubaali of France in the fourth round of their WBC bantamweight title clash in California on Sunday. — ALVIN S. GO

By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter

NONITO “The Filipino Flash” Donaire is back on top of the boxing summit after seizing the World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight title from Nordine Oubaali of France by way of a fourth-round knockout in their title clash in Carson, California, on Sunday (Manila time).

Mr. Donaire, 38, a multi-division world champion, reclaimed the WBC bantamweight title he last held in 2011.

The performance was also an impressive return to the ring by the Bohol native after a year and half of inaction and showed that he could still compete at a top level even in this late stage of his career.

Mr. Oubaali started the bout aggressive, coming out firing his right jab with Mr. Donaire playing defense and managing to retaliate with left hands of his own.

The Filipino champion remained tactical in the second round but managed to pick up some ground by connecting with his right hand.

Intensity rose in the third round with the two fighters gaining headway with their respective attacks. They went back and forth with hits.

But Mr. Donaire would have the last laugh, scoring two knockdowns late in the round.

While Mr. Oubaali survived the previous round, the fourth saw Mr. Donaire going for the finish.

Sensing that he had his opponent on the cusp of defeat, Mr. Donaire attacked at the onset and eventually scored a third knockdown by way of a left uppercut that sent Mr. Oubaali down to the canvas.

The referee did not see the need to do a count, immediately waving off the fight over and sending Mr. Donaire’s supporter at the Dignity Health Sports Park in celebration.

Apart from winning the WBC bantamweight, with the victory, Mr. Donaire (41-6, 27KOs) earned the distinction as the oldest fighter in history to win a bantamweight title at age 38.

Erstwhile champion Oubaali (17-1, 12KOs), for his part, absorbed his first career defeat with the loss. He saw his reign as WBC champion come to an end after two successful title defenses.

Next up for Mr. Donaire is a possible rematch with World Boxing Association/International Boxing Federation champion Naoya Inoue of Japan.

Mr. Donaire lost the WBA super bantamweight title to Mr. Inoue in his last fight by unanimous decision but not after making the Japanese work hard and exposing his weaknesses.