WBC World Bantamweight Champion Nordine Oubaali was scheduled to make a mandatory defense of his title on December 19, 2020, against Number 1 WBC-rated boxer Nonito Donaire. Due to Champion Oubaali’s positive Covid-19 test result in late October, the WBC has placed Champion Oubaali as WBC World Champion In-Recess, and approved a bout between Number 1 Donaire and Number 4 Emmanuel Rodriguez for the title.
The WBC wishes to clarify the status of the WBC Bantamweight Division and WBC World Champion Nordine Oubaali, in light of the WBC’s designation of WBC World Champion Oubaali as Champion In-Recess, pursuant to the governing WBC Rules & Regulation.
1. As WBC World Champion In Recess, Champion Oubaali is, remains and will remain WBC World Champion.
2. Champion Oubaali now enjoys the designation of WBC World Champion “In-Recess.” That designation in no way diminishes the WBC’s recognition, or Champion Oubaali’s status, as WBC World Champion. In fact, the World Champion In-Recess designation elevates his status to a higher level by conferring to Champion Oubaali additional privileges he did not enjoy before.
a. Champion Oubaali will not have a pre-set deadline to return to the ring without losing his World Champion Status. Instead, his return will be driven by the WBC’s and the local commission’s specific medical requirements for cases like his.
b. Champion Oubaali will return to the ring as the fully recognized returning WBC World Champion and will be allowed, if he so chooses, to make a defense of his title in a voluntary contest, to get back in the ring and prepare for the mandatory fight.
3. With respect to Champion Oubaali’s future mandatory bout with the winner of the Donaire vs. Rodriguez bout, consistent with the WBC Rules & Regulations, the WBC will start a new free negotiations period. If the parties do not come to an agreement within that period, then the WBC will schedule a new purse offer ceremony, with a purse split stipulation of 60/40 in favor of Champion Oubaali.
4. If Champion Oubaali chooses to make a voluntary defense in February of 2021, then the winner of Donaire vs. Rodriguez must fight Champion Oubaali without any intervening bout (assuming Champion Oubaali wins his voluntary defense). If for any reason, Champion Oubaali requests a date after February of 2021 to make a voluntary defense, then the WBC will evaluate the timing of the mandatory bout to make sure that Champion Oubaali will be available to fight within the same timeframe as the winner of the Donaire vs. Rodriguez bout.
Mauricio Sulaimán, WBC President