By Paul Strauss: Nonito Donaire (26-1-0) commented between rounds late in his fight with Omar Narvaez (35-1-2) that he was bored. In the post fight interview, he told Max Kellerman that he now knows how Manny Pacquiao felt in his fight against Joshua Clottey. Indeed the intent of the two fighters was similar. Wrap yourself up in defense and never come unwrapped for fear of getting hit. Boring!
Max and Harold Letterman compared Narvaez’ style to that of a “can” that needed an “opener”. Harold thought he had the answer by suggesting Nonito needed to simply open with a frontal assault, and then step around to the side and continue with the attack. Well, that’s all well and good if you have a relatively stationary target, but that wasn’t the case with Omar. So, there wasn’t any opener for this can of caution.
Donaire came closest in the third round when the little southpaw mistakenly tried to trade a bit. As a result, Nonito caught him with a good straight right hand, followed by a glancing left hook. Those punches shook up Narvaez, but he quickly resealed the can and never really opened it again. Sadly, that apparently was his intent all along. At least that is what ring commentator Roy Jones, Jr. surmised from comments Omar made in the pre-fight media event. Specifically, Roy explained that if you were listening carefully, you would have gathered that Omar didn’t come to this country from Argentina with the intent of pulling off a big upset. Rather, he came to demonstrate his boxing abilities, and prove that he could go the distance with a great fighter like Donaire.
Roy also offered his opinion when asked, “How to open the can”? He said you don’t. You just keep busy and force the opponent to keep his arms up tight, because “if he’s on the defend, he can’t offend”. Well, Roy was wrong, because Narvaez still managed to be offensive. His lack of desire to win the fight. The only one he managed to hurt was his audience.
HBO and the promoters should have been on edge of their chairs after Narvaez make that comment, because it’s doubtful that is what they had in mind when the match was made as Saturday’s main event at the Madison Square Garden (MSG WaMuTheatre). Max Kellerman attempted to sum up things late in the fight when he said, it was enjoyable watching Navaez demonstrate his boxing skills early in the fight, but some where along the line, the guy has to decide he wants to win the fight and take some chances.
It became evident, as Roy mentioned, that Narvaez never had any desire to win the fight. He wanted to survive, which he did. But, if he had any real desire to impress USA fans, he failed. Who cares if a fighter can imitate a tightly sealed canister of safeness. Fans came to watch one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world exhibit his talents. Because of Narvaez’ tactics, Nonito was never given the opportunity. Donaire aimed to please, and tried his damnedest. He gave Narvaez every opportunity to take a shot at him. He opened up, dropped his guard and taunted him, but Narvaez wouldn’t bite. The seal stayed tight, and as a result, most of Donaire’s punches bounced off of Narvaez’ gloves and arms. Narvaez remained relatively unmarked, but that certainly was not a testament to his willingness to fight. The three judges were in agreement. It was a shutout 120-108.
Prior to the main event, HBO replayed the Hopkins vs Dawson fight. Bob Papa, Max, Roy and Harold all seemed to think Referee Pat Russell should have declared the fight a no contest because “no boxing move” caused the injury which prevented Hopkins from continuing. There was no discussion about whether Hopkins was faking, but Max did say that he caught a glimpse of medical report calling for physical rehab. Harold Lederman also offered his opinion that Referee Pat Russell erred in declaring the fight a TKO, because in Harold’s opinion there has to be a blow involved that causes the injury, and there was none. Several situations come to mind that would conflict with that narrow interpretation, but for now they all mean nothing, because we all know that the WBC has ruled the fight to be a Technical Draw, which allows Hopkins to keep his title. Unfortunately, from comments the announcers made last night, it sounds like the California Commission will not be meeting until December? Also, wouldn’t it be interesting if Referee Pat Russell is allowed to explain his decision of “no foul” and TKO. But, that hasn’t happened. Don’t You get the same kind of uncomfortable feeling that you have when you’ve just witnessed an upset. It’s when the decision should be just a formality, but for some reason the judges delay and delay in tallying up their score cards. Then the announcer gives their decision, and the “I was robbed” shouts fill the air.
Other action on the card:
Mikael Zewski TKO 1 Keuntray Henson
Cletus Seldin TKO 2 Jose Segura Torres
Seanie Monaghan TKO 5 Anthony Pietantonio
Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia TKO 4 Juan Carlos Martinez
Jonathan Gonzalez UD 6 Jose Rivera