In a battle of southpaws, Nordine Oubaali from France won the vacant WBC bantamweight belt with a 12-round unanimous points decision over former IBO and WBA bantamweight champion, Rau’shee Warren of the USA, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The scores were 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.
Oubaali and Warren met as amateurs at the 2012 London Olympics, with two-time Olympian Oubaali beating three-time Olympian Warren (19-18) in the flyweight class.
In a closely-fought fight, the light-punching Warren was in control in some of the rounds but was hurt on occasions by the bigger-punching Oubaali.
The Frenchman was just too strong for Warren, who gamely tried to trade punches with the new champion.
The 32-year-old Oubaali improved his record to 15-0; 11 and the 31-year-old Warren saw his record drop to 16-3; 4.
BROWN WINS INTERIM WBA LIGHT-HEAVY BELT
On the same card, Marcus Browne (23-0; 16), who represented the USA at the 2012 London Olympics, won the interim WBA light-heavyweight belt with a 12-round unanimous points decision over Badou Jack (22-2-3; 13).
The scores were 119-108, 117-110 and 116-111.
Browne was deducted a point in the seventh round for holding.
The southpaw Browne was in control throughout, in a fight that was spoilt after a clash of heads in the seventh round left Jack with a long vertical cut on his forehead that pumped out blood over both fighters and the referee Tony Weeks.
The younger Browne was a convincing winner in the end.