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New York City, USA ­– In his first, and probably his last, defense of his WBC and WBO bantamweight titles, Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire (27-1, 18 KOs) found himself in the ring with an opponent who seemed content with just blocking and deflecting his shots. Omar Narvaez (35-1-2, 19 KOs) was relatively passive all throughout the fight, displaying a superb defense clinic for everyone to see.

But you don’t win boxing matches because you excel so much in shielding yourself from the other fighter’s shots. You just don’t.

Just watching the fight will make you remember the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey one-sided punch fest.

In what was an expected blowout performance from the bantamweight kingpin, everybody saw a rather boring fight where Donaire repeatedly tried to tear through Narvaez’s tight guard. While some of the Filipino’s shots found their mark, those were not enough to bring the durable Mexican down, although Donaire managed to stun and stagger Narvaez.

Perennial Filipino boxing trainer Edito “ALA” Villamor told this writer that Narvaez was bent on keeping his reputation intact. Narvaez has never been knocked down in his entire career and probably was not going to give that distinction to the Filipino champion.

“It is so hard when you are fighting a guy who has a very defensive mindset.” Villamor said. “Donaire did everything he could to get Narvaez. But when you face someone like that who covers up all the time, knocking him out is almost impossible.”

To Donaire’s credit, he opened himself up several times, dropping his arms to entice Narvaez to come in and engage. The Argentine, however, took no heed of the bait Donaire dangled and consistently kept his guard high.

Too much headhunting

Many also saw Donaire’s big preference for head shots and spent too much of the fight hunting Narvaez’s cranium, which was well defended by the very experienced Argentine, who read Donaire’s move out from a newspaper.

Boxing experts agreed that Donaire could have resorted to body attacks, which would have softened and opened up Narvaez for the kill. That said, Villamor told this writer that Narvaez’ size may have caused some difficulties for the Filipino champion.

“Donaire should have gone more to the body,” said Villamor. “But Narvaez’s is too small for Donaire, which made attacking the body a bit difficult.”

Donaire is expected to vacate his titles and move on to the super bantamweight division, where a potential clash with WBA bantamweight king Jorge Arce awaits.

Photo credits: Boxing Scene

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Kenneth P. Ragpala is an award-winning sports blogger who has been covering the sport of boxing since 2008. His works have appeared in local newspapers in his home city in Cagayan de Oro and in several online publications abroad. Ragpala has written for several boxing websites, namely Fight Hype, 8 Count News, and Bleacher Report.