Donaire routs Narvaez in one-sided fight
|Nonito Donaire of the Philippines gets a left through the defense of Omar Andres Narvaez of Argentina in the fifth round of their World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) world bantamweight title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York October 22, 2011. Photo by Ray Stubblebine, Reuters|
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire successfully defended his WBC and WBO title belts against Argentina's Omar "El Huracan" Narvaez in what quickly turned into a one-sided affair at the Theater in the Madison Square Garden.
Donaire did not get the knockout victory he was hoping for and settled for a unanimous decision victory as Narvaez seemed unwilling to engage him throughout the fight.
It was a shutout win for Donaire, with all judges scoring the bout 120-108 for the Filipino-American boxer.
But the fight did not live up to the expectations of the New York City crowd, most of whom came wanting to see spectacular fireworks from Donaire but ended up booing as little action occurred inside the ring.
Narvaez was in defensive mode throughout the fight, content to block most of Donaire's punches while throwing the occasional jab. Narvaez became more defensive after the third round, wherein he ate a flurry of punches from Donaire.
"It was disappointing to fight somebody like that," Donaire admitted after the fight. "He's a veteran, but he didn't come to fight this time."
It was Narvaez' first bout in the United States and his first bout at the bantamweight level.
Donaire said he did his best to make the fight exciting, and tried to engage Narvaez numerous times.
"I tried hard, I didn't even mind getting hit by him, as long as I could get my punches in. A lot of times, even when I tried to open up, he's still afraid to come in," he added.
Donaire seemed to get frustrated in the middle rounds as he was unable to penetrate Narvaez' shell.
"I should have been smarter, break him down," Donaire said. "Everybody was telling me to calm down, but I wanted the knockout."
Donaire compared his fight to pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao's one-sided victory over Joshua Clottey last March 2010.
"Now I know how Manny Pacquiao felt with Clottey," he said.
In that bout, Clottey also went into a defensive shell, and Pacquiao won via unanimous decision.
Donaire apologized to the crowd after the fight, saying, "The crowd didn't deserve the fight tonight."
It was Narvaez' first loss in his career, and his record now stands at 35-1-2. Donaire improves to 27 wins against 1 loss.
Move to 122 pounds
Although he is disappointed with his victory, Donaire still plans to leave the 118-pound division and pursue bigger fights at 122.
"We want somebody who can fight, we want somebody who's willing to go out there. We want somebody that will risk their belts and their chin," Donaire said.
He is now targeting Jorge Arce or Toshiaki Nishioka, both of whom are titleholders at the division.
Top Rank boss Bob Arum says he is hoping to book Donaire against Nishioka by March.
"A minimum of four fights in 2012" is Arum's goal for Donaire, the promoter said in an interview with ESPN. "He will be an active champion," Arum added.
"You guys know I am willing to fight anyone," Donaire said. "You know I am up for a war anytime."
In the main undercard bout, Mikey Garcia maintained his undefeated record with a brutal 4th round technical knockout victory over Juan Carlos Martinez.
Garcia dropped Martinez twice in the fourth round with a flurry of hooks, but Martinez beat the count after each knockdown.
The referee stopped the fight at the 2:46 mark of the fourth, however, as Garcia completely overwhelmed the journeyman Martinez, whose record drops to 17 wins and 13 losses with 1 draw.
Garcia now has a 27-0 win-loss record, with 23 of his wins coming by knockout.