The Flash vs The Hurricane • Latino Sports


The Flash vs The Hurricane


New York, NY – Okay boxing fans, unless you’re hardcore, raise your hands if you’ve ever heard of Nonito (The Filipino Flash) Donaire. What about Omar (The Hurricane) Narvaez. If your hands are in the air, you’re in the minority. Aside from the fact they are relatively unknown, they do have one thing in common. They both come from countries that have rich boxing histories. Donaire, from the Philippines, is trying to follow in the footsteps of 32 former champions (Joma Gamboa, Gerry Penalos just to name two) and 13 current champions including the man many say is the best pound for pound fighter in the game today in Manny Pacquiao. Narvaez, from Argentina, remembers the day of Julio Cesar Chavez, Carlos Monzon and Carlos Baldomir. When they meet Saturday night at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, Donaire will be defending his WBC and WBO belt while Narvaez will be looking to add a third championship to his resume.

It took a surprising victory this past February over Fernando Montiel (2nd round KO) for people to recognize that Doanire had a 9 year, 25 bout winning streak. He will be putting that streak on the line against one of his most experienced opponents. Narvaez comes into the fight with an unblemished record. At 35-0-2 with 19 KO’s, he has defended his title 16 times in 7 years. The record of those who stepped into the ring with him was a combined 54-2.

Those numbers do not concern Donaire as much as the experience Narvaez brings between the ropes. Something that Nonito is quick to acknowledge. “He is a tremendous fighter,” he began. “He is very, very, very experienced. He has a great heart. He knows how to win. He has a good track record of being a champion. He’s not just a nobody. He is a legend in Argentina.”

Omar Narvaez has never fought more than the 116 pounds he will bring into the ring. That, along with his height (or lack thereof) could easily put him among the jockeys that were hanging on the walls of Gallagher’s Steak House where the press conference took place. He remembers Doniare from back in the day. “I know him from a long time ago from flyweight to super-fly-weight.” Hurricane has proven he can take out the opponent  early (13 fights ended within 5 rounds) or late (20 fights went 10 rounds or more). The fact that Donaire is getting more attention does not bother him and he’s hoping that a big Latino following could work to his advantage. “There’s a lot of Latino people here and I think they will be supporting me,” he said.

You would think that coming from the same country as the Pac Man, a close bond would have developed given they share the same occupation. According to Donaire, their relationship is marginal at best. “We have a relationship when I see him in the Philippines we have lunch sometimes. He has his own thing. I have my own thing to focus on.” Back in 2000 when Donaire was still trying to make a name for himself, Manny gave him some ideas if and when he faced a southpaw. “He gave me a few tips on how to fight lefties,” he said.

They say that it takes one big fight to put a fighter on the map. For Nonito Donaire, it came 8 months ago when he knocked out Fernando Montiel. As many big fights as Omar Narvaez has had, none will be as big as the one that takes place for him Saturday night when he steps into the ring at Madison Square Garden.  









About William Gerena-Rochet

William Gerena Rochet, is the former Latino Sports baseball editor. He is a retired NYC teacher who divides his time living between New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He started writing for Latino Sports during the inaugural World Baseball Classic when a series was played in Puerto Rico in 2006. On of his favorite moments was covering the 2006 MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. During his time with Latino Sports, he covered several divisional and League championship series games and the 2009 World Series. He also covered the last game at the old Yankee stadium and the first game of the current one. In closing, William has covered multiples Latino Sports MVP Awards ceremonies and Spanish Language Press Conferences including the Jorge Posada retirement one. Now a contributor, Willie will occasionally cover the Yankees.