NEW YORK — In a match reminiscent of [Manny] Pacquiao-[Joshua] Clottey fight, bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire retained his WBC and WBO belts after pounding a convincing 12-round unanimous decision win over previously unbeaten super flyweight champion Argentinean Omar Narvaez at the Madison Square Garden.
But he wasn’t overjoyed. This was not the star-performance bout he wanted to see.
“I was frustrated,” Donaire said after the match. “I’m sorry it didn’t come out the way we wanted. I wanted him to open up. He had his hands up. Now I know how Pacquiao felt with Clottey.”
Donaire wanted a knockout. “The fans didn’t deserve this. My first time on the East Coast, Madison Square Garden. I apologize deeply for this,” he said. “He was definitely disappointing.”
Narvaez was shelled up and offered no resistance to Donaire’s attacks throughout the match. He was basically just looking to survive as a near capacity crowd of 4,400 booed showing their displeasure at him. While the bantam average is 60 pounches a round, Narvaez threw just 24 punches.
The match started out on a feeling-out process with Donaire throwing small punches of left hooks and uppercuts. But the smaller Narvaez successfully dodged and evaded Donaire. Narvaez darted in and out after a jab against a pressing Donaire.
The Filipino Flash opened up in the fourth round with a right hook that stunned Narvaez but managed to stand on his ground, getting off the ropes when Donaire closed in on him. Despite Donaire’s attempt to rile up Narvaez to fight as was expected of him by the crowd, Narvaez was excessively cautious to put up an offense.
After twelve unexciting rounds were complete Donaire was ahead by shutout scores of 120-108 on all three cards.
Donaire didn’t think Narvaez came to fight. “He wasn’t a fighter,” Donaire’s wife Rachel said after the match was over. “He cheated Madison Square Garden and the fans that were watching. He just wanted to survive. It was just, ‘I want to survive and get a paycheck.'”
The “Filipino Flash” improved his record to 27-1 with the win, while his opponent, formerly a titlist at 112 and 114 pounds, dropped to 35-1-2.
He is moving up to junior featherweight, where possible title fights loom with Jorge Arce of Mexico and Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan.
Arum said Donaire would be back in the first quarter of next year. Nishioka has said he would not be available until the early summer to fight Donaire, but Arum said he will call his promoter and “offer Nishioka a little extra money to fight in March.”
Arum also said he would like to put on a fight with Arce in Manila next summer, but that he might move that bout up if they can’t get Nishioka right away.