Segolene Lefebvre will put her WBO junior featherweight title on the line for the second time when she meets Debora Anahi Dionicius at the Salle Gayant, Douai, in the north of France on April 29.
In chief support, former WBC bantamweight titlist Nordine Oubaali will snap a 23-month hiatus when he returns in a scheduled 8-round contest against an opponent yet to be announced.
Lefebvre (16-0, 1 KO), The Ring’s rated No. 1 female junior featherweight, turned professional in early 2015. By her fourth fight she has won the French national title. The 29-year-old moved through the ranks until her big opportunity came when he claimed the vacant WBO 122-pound title against Paulette Valenzuela (UD 10). “Majestic” thrilled her home fans in Douai by besting Spain’s Melania Sorroche (UD 10) in her lone defense to date.
Dionicius (35-4, 6 KOs) has been a professional since 2011. She quickly claimed the South American junior bantamweight title before adding the vacant IBF 115-pound title by beating Michelle Preston (UD 10). The Argentine fighter made 12 successful defenses notably beating Diana Laura Fernandez (UD 10) and Julieta Andrea Ines Cardozo (TKO 9) before losing her title to compatriot Jorgelina Guanini (SD 10). The 35-year-old lost her way, dropping two out her next four before returning to form and won her next three fights.
On paper this should be a well-matched contest that figures to go rounds. However, the unbeaten Lefebvre will be difficult to unseat in front of her own fans and win a hard-fought 10-round decision.
Oubaali (17-1, 12 KOs) won bronze at the 2007 World Championships and later represented France at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Since turning professional in 2014 he has moved steadily through the ranks before stopping former world titleholder Julio Cesar Miranda (TKO 12) and former three-time world title challenger Alejandro Hernandez (TKO 10). Those wins helped position him for a world title fight.
His opportunity finally came when he outpointed wily Rau’shee Warren (UD 12) to claim the WBC title in January 2019. He made two successful defenses, stopping Arthur Villanueva (TKO 6) and outboxing Takuma Inoue (UD 12) before he was stopped by Nonito Donaire (KO 4) in May 2021.
Oubaali, now 36, decided to return to boxing and see how he feels and if he has it in him to make another title run.
The bantamweight division has opened up in he wake of Naoya Inoue vacating his undisputed championship at bantamweight. If Oubaali can knock off the ring rust, he could well be capable of contending again.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].