Nordine Oubaali becomes the latest former champion to announce retirement

Former WBC bantamweight titleholder Nordine Oubaali announced his retirement from boxing on Tuesday, stating he no longer had the hunger to compete.

The 35-year-old southpaw hasn’t fought since last May 29; when he was knocked out in four rounds by Nonito Donaire Jr. The bout was the Frenchman’s third defense of the 118-pound title he initially won by unanimous decision over Rau’shee Warren in 2019.

Oubaali (17-1, 12 KOs) explained that the COVID-19 pandemic played a factor in his retirement.

“I have to admit that I no longer have the patience, and I don’t want to sacrifice myself so much. So I said stop. I [made] the decision to hang up the gloves,” said Oubaali.

Oubaali, the 13th child of 18 siblings, had a decorated amateur career, winning five gold medals in the French National Championships and a silver. Furthermore, he struck gold at the 2009 Mediterranean Games and captured bronze medals at the World Championships and European Championships. He also is a two-time Olympian.

Oubaali was injured in a non-boxing-related accident in October 2018 that caused double vision. Despite the circumstances, the Moroccan still found a way to become a world champion, albeit he knew in advance his career would be cut short one way or the other.

“I knew my eyesight was diminished, but nothing could get rid of this global opportunity which is the fruit of all these long years of work and sacrifice,” said Oubaali.

Oubaali underwent multiple surgeries on his damaged eye, the first of which occurred in June 2021. However, he revealed the initial procedure was a failure. As a result, he underwent a second operation in December before considering retirement.

Albeit his boxing career is over, Oubaali is grateful for having accomplished so much.

“I am very proud to have achieved my childhood dream. I [leave boxing] scoring three historic records: first Frenchman WBC bantamweight world champion, first Frenchman world champion in all categories in 15 fights, first Frenchman to win three world championship titles in the same year.

“[My days of fighting are over], but I continue to be passionate, and I will launch my website soon in order to keep the link with all those who support me, to also be able to offer my expertise and skills to transmit to as many people as possible what I have learned in the ring and which serves daily in society. I remain convinced that the associations, organizations, and institutions that favor education and integration through sport are those that must be supported and accompanied. I am at their disposal to carry out concrete actions and projects.”

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