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Donaire wins Fighter of the Year award

CARSON, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 11: Nonito Donaire punches Reymart Gaballo to a third round knockout win for the WBC World Bantamweight Championship at Dignity Health Sports Park on December 11, 2021 in Carson, California. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Harry How / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)
Nonito Donaire (right) during his swift and sweet win over compatriot Reymart Gaballo. (File)

By REYNALD MAGALLON

WBC bantamweight king Nonito Donaire earned the distinction as the Premier Boxing Champions’ 2021 Fighter of the Year after he defied Father Time and scored two stunning knockout victories over Nordine Oubaali and compatriot Reymart Gaballo.

Donaire became the oldest fighter in history to win the bantamweight belt at 39 years old after stopping Oubaali in four rounds last May.

The Filipino Flash then proved that his victory over Oubaali was no fluke as he scored another fourth-round knockout against Gaballo in his first title defense last month.

Both Gaballo and Oubaali were undefeated prior to their bouts against Donaire who ended the year with a 42-6 win-loss record on top of 28 knockouts.

Donaire’s boxing renaissance allowed him to top PBC’s poll on Twitter and YouTube with a combined 47.6 percent votes.

The four-division world boxing champion bested unified WBO and WBC super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton Jr., reigning WBA lightweight champion Gervonta Davis, and undefeated David Benavidez for the citation.

Donaire’s resurgence also put him in a good position to get his desired rematch against current unified WBA and IBF bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue who defeated him in 2019 via unanimous decision.

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