CORDOBA, Argentina – Fighting at the local Anfiteatro Municipal in his adopted hometown for the first time since 2006, Omar Narvaez performed a methodical demolition of Mexico’s Antonio “Tostado” Garcia (13-2-0, 6 KO), a 20-year-old contender who gave a decent account of himself during the first stretch of the bout only to be sent down by a body shot in the fourth round.
Narvaez (42-1-2, 23 KO) was his usual cagey self during the early going, establishing his control of the tempo and the spaces in the ring from his southpaw stance. His dominance began to show in the third round, one of his best in recent memory, and then again in the fourth, when he clearly began imposing some serious damage. A glancing right hook to the body of Garcia with a delayed effect sent the visiting fighter to the canvas towards the end of that round, and referee Celestino Ruiz reached the 10-count while Garcia was still rolling around in pain.
“We were supposed to fight (Daiki) Kameda in Japan around this time, but the fight didn’t materialize and we ended up taking this fight,” said Narvaez, 38, who also indicated that a possible rematch against Felipe Orocuta of Mexico was in the works when the chance to fight Garcia came along.
The fight was Narvaez’s 29th title bout, with his only loss coming against Nonito Donaire in New York back in October 2011. This was slated to be his 10th defense of his WBO 115-pound belt, but a moment of doubt arose when both fighters missed the weight in the initial weigh-in. Narvaez was one pound above the limit, and Garcia was more than two pounds overweight. Narvaez weighed in again almost two hours later to stop the scales at a few ounces below the limit, while Garcia was still almost two-thirds of a pound overweight by the cut-off time, and was therefore ineligible to fight for the title. However, as per WBO rules, the fight still counted as a title bout only for Narvaez, who thus accumulated one more defense.