Undefeated Oubaali claims vacant WBC title

Nordine Oubaali, right, made the most of his first world title shot by winning the WBC bantamweight crown against Rau'shee Warren (AFP Photo/Christian Petersen)
Nordine Oubaali, right, made the most of his first world title shot by winning the WBC bantamweight crown against Rau'shee Warren (AFP Photo/Christian Petersen)

Las Vegas (AFP) - Nordine Oubaali earned his first world title Saturday by beating Rau'shee Warren by a unanimous decision to claim the vacant World Boxing Council bantamweight belt.

The 32-year-old Frenchman remained undefeated in his first fight on US soil, which came on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

"I made my dream come true, my American dream," said Oubaali.

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It marked the second time the two southpaws have tangled but the first as professionals, with Oubaali winning a flyweight division contest at the 2012 London Olympics.

Oubaali captured the WBC title that became available after Luis Nery failed to make weight for a fight last year.

Oubaali, who improved to 15-0 with 11 KOs, won on all three judges' scorecards, 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.

Oubaali became champion in his first chance at a world title after turning pro five years ago. The French-born fighter of Moroccan descent had over 200 fights as an amateur and is a two-time Olympian.

Oubaali showcased perfect boxing skills on Saturday, combining solid punching power with artful defence.

"I won because I made the pressure and I have speed," said Oubaali, who was appearing in his first fight outside of France or Morocco. "Rau'shee is very good boxer, he is smart. I make a big night and am very, very happy."

Oubaali's best round was seventh when he staggered Warren by landing a left-right combination as the two traded heavy blows in centre of the ring.

Oubaali was the busier and stronger puncher. His defence was also superior as he took a few jabs to the face but managed to easily slip almost all of Warren's big shots.

Like Oubaali, Warren was a decorated amateur boxer and holds the US record of appearing in three straight Olympics.

Warren, who dropped to 16-3, previously held both the IBO and WBA world titles at bantamweight.

He has just four knockouts in his career and only another one would have salvaged the fight for him after he fell far behind on the scorecards in the later rounds.

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