By Jake Donovan
Omar Narvaez registered the ninth defense of his 115 lb. belt with a 7th round stoppage of Mexico's David Carmona, Saturday evening in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Narvaez floored Carmona in round six and was on the verge of battering his foe into submission before the challenger's corner mounted the ring apron, with surrender flag in tow.
Naturally, the crowd has gone crazy in approval anything Narvaez threatens to land a punch. False celebration came early on, when Cardona slipped and fell to the canvas, though the crowd reacted as if a knockout call was imminent.
A slippery ring canvas played a major role in the early rounds, with Carmona slipping at least twice. Narvaez managed to steady himself, though perhaps due to offering minimal movement while playing the role of patient stalker.
Carmona managed a moral victory by remaining on his feet throughout the fourth round. Unfortunately, it only meant his serving as target practice for Narvaez, who was thoroughly effective with his heavy right jab and straight left hand, both of which repeatedly found its way to his challenger's chin.
Round five saw more two-way action than in preceding rounds, though with Narvaez still getting the better of most exchanges. Carmona had his moments, scoring with the occasional right cross, but always left himself wide open for counter left hands.
Another slip and fall in round five was followed by the bout's first official knockdown in the sixth. A digging left hand to the body forced Carmona to a knee, where he remained for nearly the full ten count. Narvaez was hardly in celebratory mode, offering the patience of an assassin ready to finish off his prey.
Carmona made it to his feet and out of the round, but not before absorbing more power shots from the defending champ. The round left the visiting challenger at the point of no return in regards to the scorecards, as a knockout was his only chance of leaving Argentina a winner.
In retrospect, Carmona may have been better off remaining on the canvas. While surviving the sixth, the deciding seventh round proved to be far more grueling. Narvaez had knockout on his mind from the opening bell, and continued on the attack every second of live action following the sixth round knockdown.
A savage beating was doled out by Narvaez, though Carmona braved the attack while practically begging for more. Cooler heads prevailed in the challenger's corner, who grew tired of their fighter playing the role of punching bag, climbing to the ring apron to literally throw in the towel.
Carmona falls to 16-2-4 (8KO), the loss snapping a 14-fight unbeaten streak. The bout marked his first bid at a major title, as well as his first official prize fight outside of Mexico.
Narvaez (41-1-2, 22KO) has now managed six straight wins since a disastrous showing versus Nonito Donaire more than two years ago. The tactical southpaw boasts an impressive 27-1 overall record in title fights spanning two weight classes, having served as a longtime flyweight titlist before moving up in weight in 2010.
The flop against Donaire was a failed attempt at becoming a three-division champion, coming up massively short in his lone bantamweight fight.
Stateside fans will continue to judge Narvaez by that fight, his lone appearance in the United States and also the only defeat of his lengthy career. Those more in the know will identify him as a significant player in the flyweight and super flyweight divisions for more than a decade.
A reminder of that status was delivered on Saturday evening, a performance of which Narvaez was in dire need. His 2013 campaign began with a questionable points win over Felipe Orucuta in May. The bout was arguably his worst performance as a super flyweight since arriving in the division in 2010.
Two consecutive knockouts have since followed for Narvaez who at 38 looks reborn and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
The bout aired live on Argentina TyC Sports.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox