By Robert Coster
On January 19th, French-Moroccan boxer Nordine Oubaali became WBC bantamweight champion with a convincing decision over American Rau’shee Warren in Las Vegas. “I’ve achieved my American Dream,” declared the 32-year-old Oubaali after the fight, becoming the first French boxer to win a world title in Las Vegas.
In his first title defense (on July 6th) against Filipino Arthur Villanueva, Oubaali (16-0, 12 KOs) dominated his rival and stopped him in six rounds. Nordine is looking confidently at the future in a division that is talent-filled. “I want to go back to Las Vegas, to step in the ring and fight in front of American boxing fans,” he says.
Fightnews.com® contacted Oubaali who graciously answered our questions.
Congratulations Champ on your title defense and victory. Tell us about that fight.
He tried to press me early. I couldn’t let him and took command of the fight early. I backed him up and showed him who was the champion.
The fight was held in Kazakstan. Why there?
My manager MTK Global co-organized the card with MTK Kazakstan. It was a great opportunity because US fans got to see my fight on ESPN+. I hope US fans will be able to see my next fight against mandatory challenger Takuma Inoue.
Takuma Inoue, unbeaten Japanese boxer, younger brother of WBA/IBF champion Naoya Inoue, the “Monster” of the bantamweight division? How do you feel about this possible fight?
I love it. I want to beat Takuma Inoue and send a message to The Monster: “you may be a monster, but I’m not afraid of you.” Naoya is very talented, punches so hard but I’m the smarter boxer, better technical boxer. Beating Takuma and facing Naoya would make it a great grudge fight!