Talented Frenchman Nordine Oubaali 15-0 (11) captured the vacant WBC bantamweight title with a unanimous decision against Cincinnati’s Rau’shee Warren 16-3 (4) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.
Fighting in one of the main support bouts to Manny Pacquiao versus Adrien Broner, Oubaali was award the 12-round victory by scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.
“This was my dream,” said the 32-year-old southpaw who was making his U.S. debut. “I made my dream come true, my American dream. I want to thank all the people of America and France who supported me.”
The fight was competitive through the first six frames with just a handful of punches separating the two. But Oubaali took control of the fight in the mid-rounds and finished stronger down the stretch.
Former world champion Warren, who holds victories over quality campaigner McJoe Arroyo and Juan Carlos Payano, paid credit to his old amateur foe Oubaali, who defeated him 19-18 in the opening round at the 2012 London Olympics.
“I felt like I was doing pretty good in the beginning of the fight but after the fifth or sixth I let off the gas,” said southpaw Warren, 31, a three-time Olympian.
“I was using my jab and wanted to finish it with my left hand. The judges saw it the way it was. He wanted it more. You could tell. He had his foot on the gas.”
Oubaali made his intentions known in the seventh round as he went on the attack and hurt Warren with some hard combinations. From there the undefeated boxer from Romainville took over the fight, outlanding Warren 100-51 in total punches in the back half of the fight.
“I put on the pressure,” Oubaali said. “I had the speed. He is a very good boxer – he’s slick, and he’s smart. This is a very big night to win my first world championship.”