Tag Archives: Nonito Donaire

Gennedy Golovkin vs Mexican Style Fight of Marco Antonio Rubio

The Gennady Golovkin juggernaut looks to keep on steamrolling over longtime Mexican middleweight contender Marco Antonio Rubio at the Stub Hub Center this Saturday, October 18th. Rubio may have promised a “Mexican style fight,” but he didn’t obtain his long time contender status by fighting in the traditional mano a mano Mexican style.

Chavez Jr vs Rubio

Chavez Jr vs Rubio

Rubio is one strange cat cut from different fabric than most Mexicans, likely down to developing a non life threatening skin disorder that has randomly bleached his skin of pigmentation giving him a bizarre inverse raccoon look that stands out like a beacon in his largely homogeneous culture. Deceptive fighting looks like that seem almost preordained by his Creator who has also girded him with the gifts of patience, craft, and stealth combined with one of the sneakiest fight ending right hands in boxing today. No great physical phenom he, but rather he goes about his craft in such a meandering manner that his considerable list of victims are invariably drawn to the deadly strike of a viper that ends it all, his record currently being 59-6-1 with 51 knockouts.

Just ask the highly touted Canadian slugger David Lemieux how that works.

Triple G

Triple G

Good enough technique for Rubio to seize the WBC interim middleweight title which will be up for grabs along side Golovkin’s Super WBA  and IBO middleweight belts. Still, if anyone was ever cut from a different fabric, Gennedy Golovkin looks to be cut from titanium chain mail. The few who matter in his division want nothing to do with him, so of course he is somewhat flattered against the next tier of opponents willing to fight him, however his last fight against Daniel Geale was world class as far as showcasing his natural attributes. It must have been scary for those top fighters to behold, but not Rubio who may be winding down his career in one last harrah.

I look for Rubio to give considerable ground to Golovkin as he only looks to defend himself within his own self-imposed limits. He knows he can’t win a decision, attempting that level of offensive activity would prove fatal. What he can do is to give way and wait, and study and wait some more, and give way again and again until just that right moment arrives for his right hand to strike gold.

Marco Antonio Rubio awaits his big strike. Can he up end the juggernaut of Gennady Golovkin or will he be just more Mexican roadkill?

The WBA featherweight title will be on the line when Nonito Donaire takes on Nicholas Walters on the big supporting undercard that is supposed to open the HBO telecast.

How was it portrayed in the old Batman TV series? Wham, POW, Bam! Better look out all you sissies always crying in your ugly mugs over the success of Donaire. Nicholas Walters of Jamaica is undefeated, stronger than a nuclear garlic malt, and he’s got a chance to tear tender rear of Nonito Donaire a new one. Certainly I can understand why young up and coming Walters would want this fight, but there is no need for Nonito to endure another tough fight after having fought the toughest competition in boxing since 2010, 11 highly ranked and all but one a champion in a variety of boxer, puncher,  brawler and P4Per combinations. He prevailed in all but one and even in that one he knocked down Guillermo Rigondeaux twice late in the fight to lose a close decision.

This “Axe Man” Walters may still be developing his career, but he’s highly ranked and well locked and loaded for bear as his undefeated record and high KO % attest to, 24-0, 20 KO. Not to mention that he’s also 28 years old, right in the traditional athletic peak years.

Different folks/different strokes and all that, so I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m looking forward to the stylistic matchup between Golovkin and Rubio, but most especially in the wild card shootout between Donaire and Walters. Amazingly Walters is a slight favorite over Donaire who has seemed to slipped from his top form. On the other hand, Golovkin is light years ahead as a favorite over Rubio, the most lopsided odds I can recall recently.

Choose wisely, but more importantly, enjoy!

 

Mo’ & Mo’ Macao: Nonito Donaire vs Simpiwe Vetyeka

Top Rank continues it’s international development of  world class boxing at the  Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao, Saturday, May 31st when Filipino-American icon Nonito Donaire tackles as dangerously hard punching fighter as exists in boxing today in South African Simpiwe Vetyeka. The newly aquired WBA Super World featherweight title will be the bauble Vetyeka defends.

Down goes John...the end

Down goes John…the end

The little known Vetyeka is emblematic of the tough, pressure fighting South African style that recently saw him beat up future Hall of Famer Chris John in a firefight. John had sought to defend his WBA title while simultaneously matching the storied undefeated Rocky Marciano 49 victories without a loss that stands as a permanent marker of excellence in the boxing world. T’was never meant to be as it turned, but John fought the great fight to go out on his shield and will be regarded highly in his retirement as a Thai legend.

As is becoming par in this part of the world, Bob Arum has assembled an international cast of support with a couple of Latino Americans tossed in the mix for spice along with an undefeated Jamaican WBA featherweight titlist Nicholas Walters going against Armenian former champ Vic Darchinyan, an undefeated Russian featherweight titlist Evgeny Gradovich who makes a return to The Venetian against a undefeated Belgian, a Japanese fighter, a touted prospect Brazilian 2012 Olympic silver medalist Esquiva Falcao, and so on.

Featherweights are the key descriptor here, perfect for the Chinese market as I’d guess an unofficial round robin tourney of rivalries is being set up between the four of them. Unofficial in that Top Rank doesn’t want to limit these guys to a tourney format when bigger fights may become apparent after this date at other venues. I suspect the growing success in this venue will certainly see at least some returning fighters at the next Macao promotion.

A tad off the mark

A tad off the mark

Donaire should be the nominal favorite, but he’s been struggling ever since he divorced former Balco trainer Victor Conte and then was distracted by his expectant wife and arduous self training duties. Anti social media monkeys hate him as “that 2nd Filipino,” but even as he struggled Donaire has made his power quite audible, knocking down Guillermo Rigandeaux twice in a close loss, and being the only fighter to ever knock out Vic Darchinyan, TWICE now with his last win.

I favor the overall excellence and experience of Donaire, but this Vetyeka character may be the ultimate wild card in boxing right now. He simply refused to stop attacking John, walking through every thing thrown at him to ultimately blast John to smithereens, so how is Donaire going to deal with him?

Be a great fight to watch and find out.

Sweet Revenge? Vic Darchinyan vs Nonito Donaire

Say what you will about Vic Darchinyan being the prototypical Aussie bullyboy, but he never gave up wanting to rematch his first career loss to Nonito Donaire, a devastating highlight reel knockout  for the ages. The rematch will be Saturday, November 9th in Corpus Christi, Texas. This will also be something of a comeback fight for Donaire who suddenly went from being the toasted P4P darling in the fashion of fellow Filipino Manny Pacquiao to boxing’s “Who knows ya and wadda ya done lately kid?”

First Meeting

First Meeting

Darchinyan was a tiger at 28-0, 22 KO who had the boxing world by the throat going into that first Donaire fight. He left the fight in tatters after scary minutes on the canvas in recovery from Donaire’s perfect counter left hook. Raging Bull was born to fight though and has been in against top competition since then, as good as any fighter currently operating, but things didn’t always go his way as his current 39-5-1 record attests. Yet that sole KO loss burned ever so brightly as a brand on his soul that he had a fever to avenge, so finally, here we are.

As to the recent Donaire downfall, he mysteriously fell apart during the leadup before his last fight, a dastardly loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux. Reports had him being mostly self trained with Robert Garcia phoning in a some instructions before compounding his dissolution by divorcing his BALCO associated physical trainer Victor Conte. Reduced boxing preparations on top of being  deprived of those secret magic potions left Donaire very vulnerable with his expectant wife as his only soulmate going into a difficult fight. Indeed, the focus in interviews seemed to be Donaire’s preoccupation with the development of his son and his wife’s health, not his chosen profession.

He looked foolish trying to chase down the rapidly fleeing Rigondeaux as any fighter might appear and was additionally ill prepared for those moments when it came time to trade punches. Though he came to held his own as he adapted to the wily Rigondeaux, he was well off his 2012 Fighter of the Year form. In the 10th round insult would be added to injury when he wasn’t credited by referee Benjy Esteves Jr. with two clean consecutive knockdowns that would have put him up on the two close cards with more impetus going into the last two rounds. Instead he was only credited with one knockdown and completely gave up the last round to protect his damaged eye.

To add intrigue to this rematch, Donaire has recently made amends with his dad who happened to be in his corner when he avenged the brutal loss by his brother Glenn to Darchinyan. A nasty dispute later separated the family as the Nonito star ascended, but now Dad is splitting duties with Garcia in the lead up to the rematch. How the “co-training” works for Nonito is unknown, however on his worst night Donaire could have won his last fight but for poor circumstances, thus he will be the odds on favorite.

Darchinyan may be near the end of his career at almost 38 years of age, but he recently signed a deal with Top Rank to make this fight, so it’s impossible to measure the boost that this opportunity may bring him. He operates out of an awkward lobster like southpaw style and it’s not like he has ever been terribly outclassed in the ring save that thunderous night against Donaire.

Now both are in a different place looking a bit vulnerable, but you can bet on seeing a genuine fight.

VADA/Conte/Donaire vs USADA/Rigondeaux for the Cleaner Than Thou Crown

Nonito Donaire will be fighting Cuban Olympic Gold Medal legend Guillermo Rigondeaux at Radio City Music Hall in New York City this Saturday, April 13th. On paper, Rigondeaux has no chance but a puncher’s chance, and he’s not a big puncher though he is a skilled and shifty boxer. The bottom line is that he’s too small and still on a professional learning curve, a baby as it were.

Filipino vs Cuban

Filipino vs Cuban

Nonetheless, the boxing world has been agaga over Cuban Olympic boxers even though most of them simply never got further than where Rigondeaux is, a WBA strap holder for a short while with few wins of any significance on his ledger, currently a mere 11-0, 8 KO, with 59 pro rounds in the bank. His achievements are certainly admirable at a certain level, but nowhere near the top mark that  Cubans typically seem to think they rank. The best of the modern Cuban pro boxers has to be Juan Carlos Gomez, the well credentialed cruiserweight champ and heavyweight contender, yet he had numerous personal issues that set him back, including disputes with managers and promoters, drug use, suspensions, lack of training.

Most noteworthy is that Cuban fighters didn’t get rich like they were promised when they were lured into the pro game. Few want to see them box save some few other Cubans and the ever diminishing remnants of boxing aficionados due to their boring, light punching amateur styles, often showing no heart or guts in the ring and needing plenty of referee intervention and dubious points decisions to keep them going.

It’s always a nice promotional PR stunt with a lot of political push when they get signed, Fidel Castro giving up ever more of his tired, his poor, and his hungry, capitalism starved fighters to come to America to set the world afire, but then? Into the virtual void of “Who Cares” they go.

The reasoning behind making this specific bout is that of convenience, both fighters being promoted by Top Rank, both highly rated, and both in need of a “big” fight, particularly Rigondeaux who has somewhat languished in spite of his heralded amateur success and obvious talents. Donaire  is wanting to silence the unceasing hordes of moaning critics littering the antisocial internet who insist he has been ducking the Cuban, the Mexican, the (insert nationality of your choice here).

In spite of  the positives for making the fight within Top Rank, it almost didn’t come off after stalling too many times to keep up with. Frankly, Rigondeaux  hasn’t looked pleased that he finally landed his signature big bout, perhaps upset with his manager and promoter and his purse, but that has been a longstanding problem with too many Cuban stars. Pro boxing is a cutthroat business and few pro fighters are pampered like the Cubans were used to in Cuba. Fighters in America have to be a star attraction to achieve the pamper level that Cubans were massaged with under the Castro regime.

Rigondeaux can last the 12 round distance if he shows up to spoil and run, but he won’t improve his future earnings with that strategy, see Timothy Bradley for how that works. He’s has to risk going out on his shield and really taking to Donaire in a controlled, clever way, fighting at a level much higher than he ever had to before.

Does Rigondeaux have the desire and the will to endure the big hurt Donaire is guaranteed to hit him with? Does he have the creativity and natural attributes to come up with a strategy that can really take it to Donaire offensively while protecting himself defensively?

Nobody knows what Rigondeaux has in him yet, not even Rigo, but wait, there’s the hope of a new development coming into this fight for him.

Donaire may somehow be weakened after the divorce from his ex-con BALCO trainer, Victor Conte. His tap of the majic swill elixirs that turn run of the mill store clerks into supermen able to leap over multiple divisions and rated fighters with a single bound has been turned off. Donaire may be in his Clark Kent mode for this fight.

Yes, folks, the sad truth is the boxing business has welcomed discredited trainers from the BALCO illicit performance drug operations that netted multiple felony convictions into their sordid, unseemly fold, a perfect fit if you study up on the history of boxing. Indeed, these n’er do well PED pushers have wormed their slimy hooks into top ranked fighter training camps everywhere. New supermen have been resurrected in the form of Nonito Donaire, Andre Ward, Andre Berto, Juan Manuel Marquez, Jorge Arce, Zab Judah, Brandon Rios, and too many others to keep up with. Give Conte and his hunched assistant Angel “Memo” Heredia your sickly, anemic, low testosterone count weaklings and voila, Showtime and HBO will come calling with big money in hand just to see their newly hulked out frames do a cartoon style seek and destroy on their opponent.

Currently we have WADA, VADA, NADA, and USADA all vying for a piece of the drug testing pie as slimy illicit drug testing cartel business operations merge with the sleaze of boxing. Do a web search on the dirty drug testing business after the recent upset by Sam Soliman over long time WBA middleweight champ Felix Sturm to see dozens of sordid press releases and updates all these many weeks later as both parties sling back and forth the kind of stuff you see slung by apes in zoos, and this just one fight!

One thing is for sure, these little banties are gonna be blood dripped bone dry in a head to head fight between VADA and USADA to see which operation is the sleaziest in the land. Nonito Donaire was extracted minutes before an early morning sparring session for example.

What kind of idiotic program is that?

Regardless, the new news is the same as the old news of hundreds of years prior with new fighters taking the most risks being ill advised or otherwise set up by neferious boxing “advisors.” The human condition never changes.

Ahem….is the time ripe for old school Panama Lewis glove tampering cheats to make a return to even up the balance on the PED ledger, ya think?

Mexican vs Filipino Déjà vu–Jorge Arce vs Nonito Donaire

Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire defends his WBO junior featherweight crown against Jorge “Travieso” Arce Saturday, December 15 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Not sure what the thinking is by having this fight in Houston other than a good deal on the venue and enough fight fans in the megapolis to raise some ruckus at the gate. Plenty of Mexicanos around the Houston area and Arce has become something of a Mexican legend as one of the most active, all action, big slugging fighters of his era, 61-6-2, 46 KO. His dizzying title record is 24-4 in 5 different weight classes as he keeps on keeping on a roll.

Now he’s queued up against a Ring P4Per and Filipino legend in the making, Nonito Donaire who is coming off a spectacular win over Japanese legend, Toshiaki Nishioka, knocking him down twice before the TKO stoppage. For purists, it started as a cautious cat and mouse game as Donaire switched to the orthodox stance to carefully pile up points on the puzzled Nishoka who cautiously avoided whatever trap Donaire was trying to set. Then they started to trade which lead to the 1st knockdown, a beautiful left hook to the body followed by a left uppercut that put the Japanese champion down. Nishioka easily beat the count and continued to pick his own big shots, but to no avail. After knocking Donaire into the ropes, he rushed in for the finish and was caught by a picture perfect short right hand, and that was that when he got up unsteady and his corner waved the white towel of surrender.

With only 31 fights and still fresh from his stylish boxer/puncher form at age 30, it stands to reason that Donaire, 30-1, 19 KO will be the big favorite over the aging Arce who has 70 really tough mano a mano fights on his odometer at 33 years of age.

What could prove troublesome is that Donaire will be only two months removed from his last fight, a dangerous scheduling move against the big punching Arce who has defied dwindling expectations before with big knockouts. Most recently he knocked highly regarded Wilfredo Vazquez Jr stupid last year for the stoppage and his 5th title whereas Donaire struggled to a split decision win over Vazquez to open this year. Donaire then endured a bruising battle against the huge Jeffrey Mathebula before the Nishioka fight, so oddly enough he may not be as fresh as Arce who has fought lower tier opposition this year, an easy year for him so far.

Of course Donaire can easily box and move Arce around to win on points, but this kid has big money dreams and wants to look spectacular, thus the inherent danger in this bout.

Perhaps even more dangerous is Donaire’s use of convicted BALCO felon, Victor Conte, who has him on some two dozen various pills and concoctions to be downed at timed intervals during the day. When Conte’s other client, Andre Berto tested positive for trace steroids, well, rats are always the first to jump sinking vessels and Conte was nowhere to be found to stick up for his client.

It would be a major shame if Donaire became tarnished because of this association, but it is what it is and such is the current state of boxing with another BALCO drug peddler, Angel Heredia AKA Angel Hernandez, training Juan Manuel Marquez who has taken some considerable stick over his newly ripped musculature. He also works with Arce, begging the questions.

Shouldn’t these new age witch doctors of alchemy be forced to register the contents of these newly created snake oils transforming this new breed of supermen? Could the trainers pass WADA/VADA/USADA drug testing? How about the honchos that run the myriad of boxing orgs and promotions, could they? The media? The fans? The testers?

The short answer is, “No.”

CANCELLED-PK fail medical>>>-The undercard is a boxing purist dream come true with Cuban Olympic Boxing legend Guillermo Rigondeaux, 11-0, 8 KO, goes against a modern Thai legend, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, 48-2, 33 KO, a classic example of when numbers can lie absent context. Rigondeaux is a two time Olympic gold medalist with some 400 amateur fights to add on to his spare 59 professional rounds boxed and 5 WBA superbanty title wins. Kratingdaenggym was matched hard from his pro start in the very competitive Thai boxing system with too many PABA and other regional title bouts to count, but also sporting a 4-1 record of the belt that Rigondeaux currently owns to go with his 339 pro rounds.

CANCELLED-PK fail medical>>>-Two more contrasting systems in the boxing world cannot be found, and now they’ll be clashing. Smart money is on Rigondeaux who will be the money fighter in his newly adopted homeland, so it’s up to Kratingdaenggym to take the fight to him and either show substantial class over him and still risk losing the decision, or knock him cold, the closest thing to a guaranteed win in sports which makes boxing in a class unto itself.

Santa really did come early to December in the boxing world with too many good and great matchups to count, not the least of which was the Pacquiao/Marquez shocker that knocked the known universe into a wobble on it’s axis. Now we reprise another classic Mexican vs Filipino matchup, a great way for boxing to close out the year for a change, so cheers to that and bottoms up, it’s déjà all over again!

Philipino/Japanese Southpaw Festival–Donaire vs Nishioka

Nonito Donaire was born in the Philippines, but he’s now a bonafide California boy looking to defend his WBO/IBF superbanty titles against the WBC champ, Toshiaki Nishioka in his home environs. Saturday, October 13 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

These are two highly skilled fighters with show stopping power looking to topple one another off their pedestals.

Meeting of The Great Champs

Meeting of The Great Champs

Donaire is the prime aged highly touted Ring P4Per moving up through four divisions with ease thus far. He looks poised and hungry enough to become the best Philipino, or is it Filipino fighter when Manny Pacquiao retires, but beating a top fighter like Nishioka is far from a given.

Toshiaki Nishioka, now say that real fast 10x in a row, he’s 39-4-3, 24 KO and is no joke as the more experienced Ring Superbanty #1. His  four losses were early in his career as he rose up the ranks through the tough as nails Japanese boxing system. The pity is that Donaire is only ranked #3 so that this won’t be for the Ring belt without editorial intervention. For mysterious reasons, Ring ranks Guillermo Rigondeaux #2 in spite of only 11 pro fights, so go figure since nobody else can figure their ratings.

Nonetheless, the 37 year old Nishioka could crack the Ring top ten with a competent win over Donaire, a nice plum to top off a stellar career and a great motivator that cannot be discounted.

Donaire should be the favorite as the hometown darling, but not by that much. Stylistically, Donaire is younger and incrementally faster with better defense, a traditionally good enough reason to pick him to win, yet both are technically astute boxer/punchers with game changing one punch KO power, particularly in their left hands as befits an all lefty matchup.

They could almost be each other’s shadows.

Nishioka has banked 292 pro rounds to 170 by Donaire, but there is no advantage for either in that statistic since both are at or near the top of their game and used to facing top fighters. It’s a risky fight for both, but both are fighters for whom risks are well worth the rewards, the type of great fighters boxing can never get enough of, especially in this era of fractured titles where a touted fighter can stay at home enjoying sumptuous home cooking rather than risk international travel.

The undercard features former WBA lightweight champ Brandon Rios finally doing the right thing and moving up to junior welter to challenge undefeated Mike Alvarado. The stakes are the WBO Latino title as part of an eliminator for the WBO title. Both are high action, undefeated slugger types, so look out Katy and bar the door, someone’s face is gonna be hurting at the end, probably both.

If you’re a fan of smaller division fighters as many are, you can’t miss this one.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr & Nonito Donaire Usher in The New Year

Mark your calendars for February 4th when boxing’s first big card kicks off the new year in  old San Antone at the Alamodome when Nonito Donaire battles Wilfredo Vazquez Jr for the vacated WBO superbanty title that Vazquez used to own.

WBC middleweight belt holder and Son of the Legend, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr may or may not be sanctioned to defend against the extremely dangerous Marco Antonio Rubio, but the fight seems to be on regardless. Basically WBC El Jefe Jose Sulaiman is in a feud with Bob Arum over some such silly comments each has made about the other recently, so we’ll have to see if these two old frogs can kiss each other into princes again for the belt to be officially on the line.

The Presser

The Donaire/Vazquez fight is the intriguing one since Donaire is a Ring ranked P4Per moving up to his superbanty debut after a spectacular 2011, knocking out Ring P4Per Fernando Montiel and shutting out undefeated Argentinean legend Omar Narvaez.  

Vazquez Jr was the amazing son of a Puerto Rican legend making his 3rd defense of his title when upset by the even more amazing Jorge Arce last year, so 2012 is his comeback year. Punching is his signature, winning all his title fights by spectacular KO until being knocked out in the last round by Arce who made their encounter into a dogfight. Vazquez had his moments and now knows what to expect from this elite level. While I expect Donaire to prevail, he better be at his best for this or else.

I am truly astounded that Bob Arum is risking a future projected superbout and Chavez Jr’s undefeated record against a dangerous puncher in Rubio. It takes the size, strength and chin of a Kelly Pavlik to take the fight to Rubio without being knocked out. Rubio can also be outboxed by a wary quality boxer, none of the above the sort of traits the much maligned Chavez is known for.

Junior is as game a fighter in boxing today, fighting hard against prospects and fringe contenders as he was slowly rounding into championship shape. While he hits hard enough for respect, the knockout is not his specialty any more than sublime boxing skills are. His dedication to his craft and conditioning have been suspect in the past, but moving up to the middleweight division seems to have suited him perfectly. His trainer Freddie Roach must see a quality gemstone in this rough diamond to have tutored him all these years, so Rubio is the next step in the development.

David Lemieux was an up and coming knockout artist and contender being fast tracked to a title shot before he was mistakenly matched with Rubio last year. Rubio took some wicked shots and didn’t seem long for this world, but Lemieux’s weakness was his youth, 23 years, and lack of rounds, only 65 rounds in the bank due to his ferocious early round stopping power. When the steam ran out and he had to start moving in reverse, the wily ring veteran walked him down and finally got him with a right behind the ear that took his legs out and crashed the back of his noggin into the turnbuckle. Ricky Hatton couldn’t come back from his heading of the turnbuckle in the Floyd Mayweather Jr fight either, so perhaps Lemieux can get back into the mix once he gets his training issues sorted.

Chavez seemingly does have his training issues sorted with a solid 211 rounds in the boxing bank and having stepped up his recent competition. His biggest unknown will be the same as Lemieux’s though, never having faced a big puncher. Additionally he gets hit much more than Lemieux who has quick feet and defensive moves to go with his power.

At any rate, it’s a quality set of action style match ups to kick off the new year, so catch it if you can.

Filipino Flash Finally Returns–Nonito Donaire vs Omar Narvaez

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.

Donaire vs Darchinyan

Donaire vs Darchinyan

 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.

Omar Narvaez

Omar Narvaez

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.

The Showtime Banty Tourney Final

It’s been a nice run with Showtime signing what is generally agreed to be the best 4 bantamweights fighting today to a tournament, but I’m not sure if it translated into a greater appreciation of the little big man divisions, much less any additional respect for when the best agree to fight each other.

It was something of a risky format for the biggest name, Vic Darchinyan, who lost his match to young Abner Mares in a controversial decision, but then again, Darchinyan is amazingly enough 35 yrs old now, so maybe it was the kind of gamble that a fighter like him has to take at this point.

Darchinyan is now matched against Yonnhy Perez in the “consolation” bout after Perez dropped his bout against Joseph Agbeko. Should be as competitive and closely contested as the previous bouts in this tourney have been, but hopefully without any further controversy if we can just get some good officiating to match the skills and hearts of the fighters.

The headliner features Abner Mares whose career had stalled out before the tourney going up against Joseph Agbeko for his IBF title. Agbeko has gained the most thus far from the tourney after previously holding the IBF title for a couple of years. King Kong was going nowhere fast after Perez dethroned him back in 2009, but the tourney provided the backdrop for the rematch, so Agbeko showed up in shape with his A-plan and took back what was his.

Mares could make the tourney his coming out statement if he can handle the always tough as nails Agbeko, but I have the feeling Agbeko is the hungriest fighter of the lot in the form of his life, so we will just have to see.

Impossible to say who the favorites will be, but I’m sure the bookies will come up with something enticing, so there it is, Saturday, April 23 at Nokia Theater, Los Angeles if you need a boxing fix or just something with plenty of excitement.

The Real McCoy P4P War—Montiel vs Donaire

Fernando Montiel and Nonito Donaire may not register with the average boxing fan who tend to concentrate on the heavier divisions that better reflect the size of the general populace, but these are two Ring ranked P4P bantys, a rarity to see two little fellas so highly ranked from a lower division.

The Gentlemen

The Gentlemen

Rarer still is a genuine banty superfight Saturday, this February 19th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas when the  modern day Mexican legend Montiel puts up his rankings along side his WBO and WBC belts against the latest Filipino Flash, Donaire.

Now, rankings are a funny thing with Donaire, 25-1, 17 KO ranked P4P higher at #5 to Montiel, 43-2-23, 33 KO at #7 according to Ring, yet the vastly more credentialed Montiel is properly #1 in his banty division whereas Donaire is #5.

Boxrec, the “other” major independent rating medium, doesn’t see fit to rate them highly as P4Pers, so go figure the intractable mysteries of boxing rankings in between figuring all the known physical laws of the universe and solving the immutable human condition if you dare.

More compelling from a fight point of view is that both are on a high arc of development, probably at or close to their peaks as fighters, and little men have a tradition of being the most exciting fighters of all the weight classes. Add in the considerable ring achievements of both, and boxing purists are salivating in anticipation of what could be a knockdown, drag out war or a finely tuned boxing classic.

The interesting part for me is that we may have already had something of a stylistic preview of the fight last year when Montiel flew over to Japan to take on another P4P banty champ in the monstrous Hozumi Hasegawa who was in the process of delivering a pitch perfect boxing beating on Montiel before being suddenly derailed by a left hook. It would seem obvious that fight might be a bout of interest that Team Donaire could focus to observe how Montiel might fight a tall, technical boxer that Donaire is. The Jhonny Gonzalez fight that Montiel dropped  a decision would be another example of a tall, technical boxer having much his own way with Montiel.

The Credentials

The Credentials

Montiel may be shortstuff in height and reach, but this fighter with his proven power and credentials is never truly out of any fight. The latest training reports have him using some modern training wrinkles not usually associated with traditional Mexican warriors, so he’s fine tuning his own strengths for his own game plan and timetable for this fight. If he prevails, he could be known as the Asian Assassin to counter the Manny Pacquiao moniker as the Mexican Assassin.

Young Donaire is no slouch in the power department though, being the only fighter to ever knockout champions Vic Darchinyan and Volodymyr Sydorenko, so any fighter coming in on Donaire is potentially in grave danger of being whacked out muy pronto.

The Power

The Power

I suspect that Montiel will be a slight favorite, but really, this is a pickem fight. I favor young Donaire who has been held back somewhat since his signature win over Darchinyan almost 4 yrs ago, but damned if I’d bet the skinny dime that separates the ability of the two.

I see Donaire outboxing Montiel early on, but what happens next depends on who pulls their fistic genius out of the vast reservoir of talent to nail down the win.

The dustup is for far more than skinny dimes, bragging rights, or ABC trinkets though. The future financial rewards to the winner might be the greatest ever bestowed on a little man, so mucho grande dinero is riding on the outcome.

And they said boxing was dead……NOT!!!!!!!