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    Nonito Donaire says long layoff a blessing in disguise

    May 28, 2021
    PHOTO: Esther Lin/Showtime

    NONITO Donaire Jr. doesn’t think the long layoff would work against his bid to regain a piece of the world bantamweight championship.

    Instead, the five-division world champion felt the rest recharged his 38-year-old body ahead of his fight against Nordine Oubaali of France on Sunday (Manila time) for the World Boxing Council (WBC) 118-lb title belt.

    Donaire, 38, last fought in November of 2019 when he lost via unanimous decision to unbeaten Japanese Naoya Inoue in a highly-competitive unification bout,

    “The layoff will not be a factor at all. The time off helped me out,” he said during the final presser for the 12-round title bout on Thursday in Carson, California.

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      “Just being out of the ring helped my body recover. And the eagerness and the hunger is there more than ever. It was a blessing for me.”

      But while Oubaali, parading a perfect record of 17-0 (12 KOs), respects what the Filipino previously achieved inside the ring, he insisted all that is in the past.

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      Oubaali said the present belongs to him.

      “He’s a good boxer, but I’m the world champion, and on Saturday, I’m going to show the world who is the best. I know I am the best,” said the 34-year-old Frenchman, who will be defending his title for the third time.

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      “I respect Nonito. He’s had a good career, but I’m the best in the division.”

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        Like Donaire, Oubaali last saw action in November 2019 in the undercard actually of the Donaire-Inoue unification match in Saitama, Japan.

        Unlike the Filipino though, the Frenchman came out victorious via unanimous decision against Takuma Inoue, younger brother of Naoya.

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        PHOTO: Esther Lin/Showtime
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