By Keith Idec
Nonito Donaire would just as soon forget his last fight.
His victory over Omar Narvaez added another win to Donaire’s record and six figures to his bank account, but the unbelievably boring bout didn’t do much to re-establish the momentum Donaire began building with his sensational second-round knockout of Fernando Montiel last Feb. 19 in Las Vegas. “The Filipino Flash” expects Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. to be a much more willing opponent on Saturday night at Alamodome in San Antonio (HBO; 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
“It takes two to tango,” Donaire said. “I don’t think I’m going to have that problem with Vazquez. I just want to go out there and figure out the opponent. If we’re winning the fight, then I can figure him out and I’m pretty sure Vazquez is going to give me a chance to do something. I trained really hard and I’m really prepared. This is something we want to take advantage of, and use the power and speed that I have.”
Donaire didn’t have a chance to do much of anything against Argentina’s Narvaez (35-1-2, 19 KOs), who employed a very safe, defensive strategy and didn’t really try to defeat Donaire on Oct. 22 in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Donaire (27-1, 18 KOs), of San Leandro, Calif., won every round on the scorecards of all three judges (120-108), but he hoped for a more memorable showing in what was his first fight in eight months.
“I was pretty frustrated because I wanted it to be good for the fans,” Donaire said. “There were a lot of people that showed up to support me, so it was frustrating. I wanted a good show.”
The former three-division champion has tried to take the underwhelming win against an impossibly passive southpaw in stride.
“It’s not so much that it set me back,” said Donaire, who’ll fight Vazquez for the vacant WBO 122-pound title. “It’s more like nothing went forward. A victory is a victory. It would’ve been bad if he made me look bad, but I know that I tried hard and it was a one-sided fight. It wasn’t a competitive fight that was boring. It was a one-sided fight that I took control of.
“People saw that the guy didn’t want to be a part of it. There was nothing that I could do. We did what I needed to do and people know that I did give it my all.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.