Michael Rosenthal

Weekend Review: Don’t blame it on Donaire

BIGGEST WINNER

Nonito Donaire: The Filipino-American’s disappointment after his shutout victory over Omar Narvaez on Saturday in New York City said a lot about him. Donaire isn’t satisfied merely to win; he wants to win in spectacular fashion on the biggest stage. That he wasn’t able to do so this time shouldn’t be held against him. An opponent as skillful as Narvaez who is more determined to survive than win is extremely difficult to knock out. Donaire fought a smart fight, patiently picking away at his reluctant foil in the hope that he would find openings to land one his potent power shots, openings that never really materialized. Donaire did pitch a shutout on all three cards – 120-108, which is a significant accomplishment against an opponent as talented as Narvarez. More knockouts will come.

BIGGEST LOSER

Omar Narvaez: Narvaez’s performance against Donaire was disgraceful.  Yes, it’s easy for me to sit of front of my television and bemoan the fact a fighter refuses to take risks, which is the only way he will have to chance to win. Isn’t that what fighters sign up for, though? To win? When did it become OK to use your defensive skills merely to survive? The guys in main events on major shows make pretty good money; they owe us more than what Narvarez delivered. And you’d think he’d have some pride. The man had never lost; he was a longtime flyweight titleholder and currently holds a junior bantamweight belt. Narvarez apparently wanted to prove he could remain on his feet against a bigger elite opponent. Well, he succeeded. Now I hope I never see Narvaez fight again.

BIGGEST WINNER II

Mikey Garcia: The brother of trainer Robert Garcia continues to turn in impressive performances, this time putting Juan Carlos Martinez down three times and stopping him in the fourth round on the Donaire-Narvaez undercard in spite of nasty swelling in one eye. Garcia (27-0, 23 KOs) is a complete fighter, lacking only experience at the very highest level. That should come next. THE RING’s No. 9-rated featherweight, who is only 23, is ready to take on Nos. 1 through 8. That includes No. 1 Yuriorkis Gamboa, No. 3 Orlando Salido and No. 4 Juan Manuel Lopez, fighters he has said he longs to fight. Could he beat these guys? There’s only way to find out. I can say this with total confidence: He’ll win at least one major title before he’s finished.

STRANGEST DECISION

Rodriguez-Rosinski: The decision in the Edwin Rodriguez-Will Rosinsky fight on Friday in Mashantucket, Conn., left me scratching my head. The then-unbeaten super middleweight prospects put on a riveting back-and-forth show, which seemed to leave the result in doubt when it went to the scorecards. Then came the announcement: all three judges had it a shutout 100-90. Rosinsky’s jaw dropped when he heard the numbers; so did mine. Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, recently reminded me that a very close fight could be scored a shutout. The point being that one fighter could win all the close rounds. A three-card shutout just doesn’t add up. However, Rosinski, a one-time amateur standout from New York, was hardly a loser. This loss was his coming out as a talented and tough young fighter. He’ll be making some noise.

MOST AMAZING

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam: It’s easy to overlook fighters who ply their trade halfway around the world. Wonjongkam (83-3-1, 45 KOs) commands attention, though. The talented Thai easily outpointed accomplished former junior flyweight titleholder Edgar Sosa to retain his WBC flyweight belt on Friday, his 16th consecutive victory. Ratings Advisory Panel regular Cliff Rold pointed out that Wonjongkam is 22-1-1 in title fights and has beaten nine titleholders. That’s first-ballot Hall of Fame material. Wonjongkam is 74-1-1 since he lost twice before he had matured as a fighter, a run comparable to such greats as Julio Cesar Chavez and Roberto Duran. He is truly a special fighter. And, at 34, he seems to have plenty left.

BEST HEADLINE

Yahoo! Sports: “Rodriguez shuts out Rosinsky – barely”

BEST QUOTE

Nonito Donaire, on his fight against Omar Narvarez: “I was bored. When I know that the guy wouldn’t open up, I kind of got bored because no matter what I opened my hands, I opened my face and the least you can do is hit me with a jab, hit me with something.”

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