No titles were at stake when the late great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde of the Philippines took on New Yorker Frankie Narvaez at the historic Madison Square Garden in August of 1965. Originally from Puerto Rico, Narvaez owned most of the crowd, which totaled to more than 6,000 spectators.
Elorde and Narvaez battled it out, but like most boxing matches, only one can be declared victor. And when it was announced that Elorde nabbed the win, pandemonium ensued. Many fight fans saw it the other way and went berserk after the winner was declared. Damages to property amounted to $10,000.
This Saturday, October 22nd, 2011, 46 years after that controversial Elorde-Narvaez bout, another Filipino boxer will set foot inside the hallowed Madison Square Garden and engage take part in a pugilistic contest to defend his WBC and WBO bantamweight titles.
The champion, Nonito Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs) will see action against unbeaten Omar Narvaez (35-0, 19 KOs) of Argentina for the first time since his trumping of the highly-heralded Fernando Montiel of Mexico. Coincidentally, Donaire is also nicknamed “Flash” and his Argentine opponent shares the same surname with Frankie, Elorde’s opposition in that fateful MSG riot of 1965.
But while it seems that history has certainly peered its head, nobody should expect a riot any time soon.
Donaire is one of the best fighters in the planet today and there is no reason why fans at the WaMu Theater in the Madison Square Garden will go out in berserker mode after the Donaire-Narvaez showdown. Frankly, there is no fighter on or near Doanire’s division can beat the Filipino Flash, simply put.
Ranked #4 by the Ring Magazine, Donaire will be simply too much for guys in his division. The real challenges can be found north the scales.
If anything, consider this upcoming fight a blowout, a massacre, a total mismatch. Narvaez will be the last man standing in Donaire’s path before the latter moves up to super bantamweight. And this is old news – Narvaez can’t do much about it all, except give the fans their money’s worth and last at least five rounds.
History is certainly around the corner, but leave the riot gear at home.
Photo credits: Bad Left Hook