Advertisement
Advertisement

Nonito Donaire-Omar Narvaez: Pre-Fight Report Card

by Cliff Rold

Just a few years ago, this would have been a fascinating unification fight at 112 lbs.  Nonito Donaire would have been favored, but the fight would have been fairly anticipated among hardcore followers.  Somehow, the addition of pounds, and the vision of destruction Donaire has provided in his last two outings, seemingly renders this clash a foregone conclusion.

Is it?

Let’s go to the report card.

The Ledgers

Nonito Donaire


Age:
28
Title: WBC/WBO Bantamweight (2011-Present, 1st Attempted Defense)

Previous Titles: IBF Flyweight (2007-09, 3 Defenses)


Height: 5’7
Weight: 116.25 lbs.
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 116.1 lbs.


Hails from: San Leandro, California (Born in the Philippines)


Record: 26-1, 18 KO

BoxingScene Rank: #1 at Bantamweight
Record in Major Title Fights: 5-0, 5 KO (7-0, 6 KO including interim title fights)

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 5 (Vic Darchinyan, Moruti Mthalane, Hernan Marquez, Wladimir Sidorenko, Fernando Montiel)


Vs.

Omar Narvaez
Age: 36
Title: WBO Jr. Bantamweight (2010-Present, 3 Defenses)
Previous Titles: WBO Flyweight (2002-10, 16 Defenses)
Height: 5’3
Weight: 117 lbs.
Average Weight – Five Most Recent (Recorded) Fights: 114.9 lbs.
Hails from: Cordoba, Argentina
Record: 35-0-2, 19 KO
BoxingScene Rank: #3 at Jr. Bantamweight
Record in Major Title Fights: 20-0-1, 8 KO
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 4 (Adonis Rivas, Luis Lazarte, Brahim Asloum, Carlos Tamara)

Grades
Pre-Fight: Speed – Donaire A; Narvaez B+
Pre-Fight: Power – Donaire A; Narvaez B
Pre-Fight: Defense – Donaire B+; Narvaez A
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Donaire A; Narvaez A

Donaire has a lot of physical advantages in this fight.  He’s taller, faster, and when he catches men flush, they go.  Add in that Narvaez is already past the midway mark of his 30’s, and the odds stack higher against him.  Being a southpaw is an edge against certain opponents, but Donaire is a southpaw as well and has never really been bothered by fellow lefties.

So where is Narvaez’s hope for victory?

It’s in his defense. 

For Donaire’s advantages to be maximized, his offense will have to work for him.  Narvaez can be a rhythm disrupting pain in the ass to lay a glove on.  He is, even for the lighter classes, a bit shorter than the norm at 112 and 115 and yet feels comfortable on the outside.  Narvaez is prone to patiently walking around the ring, creating the illusion of lax defense.  He suckers opponents into him, hands up in time to block shots or to slip those he doesn’t.  His head movement and reflexes are impeccable.  Then he’s off circling, or plain walking, away again. 

It gets under the skin of foes, wearing at them mentally even before the offense starts coming.  Narvaez has a quick, off tempo right jab, an effective right hook as lead and counter, and an accurate overhand left.  Narvaez, who is more willing to come inside as fights progress, will also throw eye-catching flurries to the belly, but he’s smart enough to get out and avoid unnecessary exchanges most of the time.

Donaire has the potency and talent to blitz almost anyone at his weight.  Narvaez looks like a slow starter and could be susceptible to an early assault.  But is he really starting slow?  Or is he starting with a plan in place?  And, if stories of Donaire burning weight quickly for this fight are true, could stamina be a factor late?

Will it matter if Donaire connects He’s had a solid beard over the years, but he’s never been in with a talent the likes of Donaire.  Darchinyan, Sidorenko, and Montiel all had proven chins too.  If Narvaez can take the heat, we’ve got a fight.    

The Pick

Or, if not a fight, at least a fine chess match.  Narvaez has waited a long time to take major fight.  At Friday’s weigh-in, his body looked ready.  Inside the ring, his mind has always been up to the task.  The problem here is that the talent gap just appears too wide and Donaire is more suited to the higher class.  It won’t mean an easy night.  Donaire probably won’t look as good as he has in his last two fights, but he’ll do just enough to win a decision where many rounds are a nightmare to score, particularly late.  The pick is Donaire by surprisingly competitive decision. 

Report Card Picks 2011: 35-12 (Pending the Dawson-Hopkins Appeal)

Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by MJ223 on 10-22-2011

After the way Donaire has blitzed opponents in title fights a competive fight would be looked forward to but not expected at least not at this weight or this opponent. Hopefully I'm wrong. I'm not believing in the Gamboa vs…

Comment by crold1 on 10-22-2011

[QUOTE=uglypug;11322962]just don't see how dawson can be an A speed and Donaire only an A :confused: obviously it's rated according to weight - so of course i know dawson isn't gonna be near as fast as donaire. . . but…

Comment by UglyPug on 10-22-2011

just don't see how dawson can be an A speed and Donaire only an A :confused: obviously it's rated according to weight - so of course i know dawson isn't gonna be near as fast as donaire. . . but…

Comment by UglyPug on 10-22-2011

ROLDIE - note: Donaire is the hardest puncher of ALL TIME at bantamweight. . . And he is also one of hte fastest all time bantamweights. . . He should be A+ in both categories NO DOUBT about it. .…

Comment by dorruel2.0 on 10-22-2011

I think everyone expects Donaire to win this match up mainy due to his size. Donaire is one of the most skilled fighters in the world, and I think Omar may be too. I would love to see Narvaez fight…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (5)
Top Headlines Video: Sergio Martinez Gives Take on Canelo-Golovkin Situation Orlando Salido Still Confident He Did Enough To Unseat Vargas UKAD Refuses To Comment on Tyson Fury Doping Allegations Video: Daniel Jacobs on Thurman-Porter, Mora Rematch, More Thurman: One Win Won't Make Me Fill Mayweather's Shoes Video: Malignaggi Gives His Take on Canelo-Golovkin Situation DiBella: Thurman-Porter Edged Vargas-Salido for Fight of the Year Video: Anthony Joshua Details Breazeale KO, Future Targets Video: George Groves on Murray Win, World Title Shot Next Video: Eddie Hearn on Golovkin vs. Eubank, Joshua vs. Parker Eubank Jr: I Can't Wait To Take Golovkin's Scalp in England! Video: Jessie Vargas Reacts To Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter Thurman-Porter Most Watched Bout of 2016 To Date Anthony Johsua: Wilder, Fury, Haye - I'd Fight Any of Them! Video: Dominic Breazeale Reflects on KO Loss To Anthony Joshua Photos: Anthony Joshua Beats Up Breazeale, Knocks Him Out Team Fury Vehemently Denies Doping Allegations Anthony Joshua Eyes November Defense, With Joseph Parker Photos: Thurman vs. Porter Barclays War - MONSTER Gallery Keith Thurman Reiterates Desire To Fight Danny Garcia Video: Keith Thurman Talks Porter Win, Mayweather, The Future Photos: George Groves Shows Class in Win Over Martin Murray Photos: Eubank Sends Message To Golovkin by Crushing Doran Hearn: Canelo Lost Face, Eubank Ready To Face Golovkin! David Haye: Joshua is Not Anywhere Near Enough To Beat Me! Arum: Pacquiao's Options Are Broner, Danny Garcia, Crawford Joshua on Wilder: I'm On My Way To America, SHO Backing Me Porter: I Beat Thurman, We Need That Rematch - Fans Want It! Mike Alvarado Struggles in Win: Matt Korobov Decisions Vera Justin DeLoach Wins Big Over Junior Castillo Thurman Confident of Win: I Rocked Porter a Few Times Keith Thurman Edges Shawn Porter To Win a War at Barclays Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Jarrett Hurd Drops, Stops Oscar Molina in The Tenth Round DiBella: Thurman-Porter Will Determine Mayweather's Successor Daniel Jacobs Becomes The Face of Brooklyn Boxing K. Porter Doubts Impressive Win Will Secure Floyd Mayweather Video: Jarrett Hurd, Oscar Molina Discuss Their Showdown Anthony Joshua Beats Down, Knocks Breazeale Out in Seven Adam Kownacki, David Benavidez, Hardy Win at Barclays
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement