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Donaire moving up to 122

By Mike Bernier

Shortly after Nonito ‘The Filipino Flash’ won a unanimous lopsided decision over Omar ‘El Hucacan’ Narvaez, Top Rank held a short press conference at ringside. Both Donaire, draped in his WBO and WBC bantamweight belts, and Narvaez surrounded by his team spoke with the media. “He knew exactly how powerful I am,” said Donaire. “One punch would have taken him out.” Narvaez was happy to fight defensively and only averaged about 25 punches per round (bantamweight average is 60). Robert Garcia, Donaire’s trainer, instructed his fighter in the corner between rounds to hit the body and land his left hook, but Narvaez fought a defensive fight. Garcia said, “He [Narvaez] didn’t want to win rounds, he didn’t even try. He’s a two time world champion and we expected more.”

Cameron Dunkin, Donaire’s manager added “[Donaire] did everything that he could against a guy that didn’t come to fight.” Donaire will move up in weight to the Jr. Featherweight division (122lbs) for his next fight. Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum is planning on having Donaire fight again in the first part of next year. Dunkin mentioned names like Puerto Rico’s Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Mexico’s WBO champ Jose Arce, Japan’s WBC champ Toshiaki Nishioka, USA’s WBA champ Rico Ramos, and current bantamweight IBF champ Abnar Mares if he moves up.

Narvaez said “It was difficult to move to 118, Donaire was very powerful, I didn’t want to take any risk that wasn’t necessary.” Narvaez was very happy with his performance, “Donaire knocks everyone out, and he didn’t knock me out!” It was obvious from anyone in attendance or watching on TV that Narvaez was satisfied to survive 12 rounds with Donaire rather than trying to actually win the title. Narvaez plans to move back down to 115 and start defending his WBO title again.

* * *

In the co-main event still undefeated featherweight NABF champion Mikey Garcia stole the show with his TKO victory over Juan Carlos Martinez. Cameron Dunkin who also manages Garcia’s career said, “It was sensational performance, I saw something really special in him tonight, that’s a pound for pound guy.” Garcia was quiet through the first two rounds until he opened up and dropped Martinez with a left hook in the final seconds of the round. Dunkin said, “He feels the guy out and sees what he’s got and then he starts picking them apart.” Martinez came out for round four only to be swarmed by Garcia’s rights and lefts that dropped him to the canvas twice before the fight was waved off. The featherweight division is deep with big name fighters and Garcia would like to be considered the top guy in the division. Dunkin said, “We’re interested in Juanma Lopez but he doesn’t hold a title so maybe a fight with [Celestino] Caballero for the WBA belt.”

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