09.02.09 – by James Slater – Vic Darchinyan and the incredibly brave Jorge Arce were not the only small guys busily engaging in a world title fight this past Saturday night. While “The Raging Bull” and “Travieso” were waging war for eleven brutal rounds of super-flyweight action in California, Argentine fighter Oman Andres Narvaez was defending his WBO flyweight title – for an amazing fifteenth time!
Getting nowhere near as much attention as the war that was waged at 115-pounds, the 33-year-old southpaw’s fight actually made Argentine boxing history.. Until Saturday, legendary middleweight king Carlos Monzon held the record for most successful defences of a world title by an fighter from Argentina – the late great having defended his 160-pound crown fourteen times. But now the record is held by the little-known little guy. Improving to 29-0-2(18) with an impressive 10th round TKO of the previously unbeaten and very talented Rayonta Whitfield, the 27-year-old from Georgia; Narvaez looked as good as ever.
Despite being 33, which is pretty old for such a lower weight boxer (though Vic Darchinyan shows no signs of fading at the same age), the southpaw who turned pro back in December of 2000 and who won the WBO 112-pound title in just his twelfth fight looks just as sharp as when he first won the belt. One of the sport’s best kept secrets, it would have been nice if Narvaez had found the time to box in the US. Most of his pro career has taken place in his homeland, with a few fights also taking place in Italy, France and Spain, and as a result precious few mainstream fans know who he is.
Also, there are not that many big names on the 5’3″ boxer’s resume – with the win over the classy Whitfield probably being his biggest and best win to date. A good puncher for a flyweight – with 18 wins coming for him by stoppage – Narvaez is not in any way dull to watch. Fast, aggressive at times and also a fighter in possession of fine boxing skills, the southpaw can basically do it all. The defending champion showed some good counter-punching skill against the previously all-conquering fighter known as “Stingray.”
In front of a packed stadium of his countrymen in Argentina, Narvaez had his fans on their feet at times during the exciting bout. The taller American (5’7″) was unable to keep the champion from getting in and attacking on the inside, and in the end, after a good fight, referee Samuel Viruet had to save Whitfield from taking any more punishment – giving the local man his 29th win and his 15th world title retention.
Now that he’s made a little piece of boxing history that deserves much respect, maybe more and more fight fans will want to see the long-ruling 33-year-old in his next fight.