It’s taken awhile for the hottest little man in boxing today to sort out his managerial conflicts with his promoter, Bob Arum, but perhaps sanity has finally smoothed the rough waters to allow Nonito Donaire a stellar return to defend his freshly won WBC/WBO belts against Argentinean legend, the undefeated Omar Narvaez.
Narvaez is the former WBO Fly and Super Fly champ with 21 successful title bouts to his credit, almost 2/3rds of his 35-0-2, 19 KO career record. Most of those bouts were in Argentina with a smattering in Spain and France, but this is his biggest bout yet and in the Holy Mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden at WaMu Theater in New York City.
Narvaez is considered something of an exotic whose fights are not widely available for boxing fans to view. I have seen his last two fights against tall southpaws William Urina and Cesar Soto, so that’s 24 rounds of excellent preparations for Donaire who is coming in with 5 big KOs in his last 6 fights. Narvaez is 1 KO out of his last 6 fights, so he’s going to need every ounce of experience he can muster to beat Donaire.
Having seen Donaire in his big fights and having compared their records, it becomes apparent that Narvaez has been fighting 2nd tier contenders compared to Donaire who has been in against big names, dangerous fighters who had good chances at beating him.
Donaire has big height and reach advantages over Narvaez, 5-7 ” to 5-3 ” according to boxrec. Donaire is only 28 years old compared to the veteran 36 year old Narvaez who has logged well over double the rounds at 299.
Narvaez can claim a rare victory over the currently undefeated Joan Guzman as an amateur in the 1996 Olympics, so now that he is entering the twilight of his career, what better way go out 15 years later with a bookend of modern day legend, Nonito Donaire. If nicknames have any say, Narvaez “El Huracán” has been the plague of the Phillipino people through the ages, but of course they call them typhoons in Asia.
Though an interesting novelty bout of southpaws on paper between the #1 ranked superfly and banty, Donaire is coming off an unexpected easy KO of Mexican legend, Fernando Montiel in his last bout, so if he is in his usual healthy well trained state, it’s likely to be an early end. A short spunky fighter with footwork and combinations could cause some problems though.
That would be Omar Narvaez at his best, but is his best good enough to dethrone the new WBC/WBO Banty champ?
Perhaps we should watch and find out.