Nonito Donaire retained the WBC and WBO bantamweight titles, unanimously outpointing Omar Narvaez on Saturday night at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Donaire improved to 27-1, extending his nine-year winning streak to 26 fights, with winning scores of 120-108 from the judges. He failed to record a knockout for the 10th time in his last 11 fights in a performance that had most of the 4,425 fans booing the lack of action.
Narvaez (35-1-2) lost for the first time in his 11-year professional career.
Donaire won the title with an overwhelming second-round knockout of Fernando Montiel eight months ago, but this one was nowhere as easy as that left hook for the 28-year-old making his first New York appearance.
After judges awarded Donaire the first three rounds, he began to get into a groove in the fourth. Late in the round, Donaire began landing more punches and he had Narvaez against the ropes with a strong combination.
Narvaez was able to stay with him by using a defensive strategy most of the fight. He frequently kept his hands clenched near his head to avoid many strong punches and appeared content to let the bout go the distance.
Narvaez's technical approach had some in the crowd booing at times but they cheered wildly when Donaire began landing some uppercuts late in the 10th. The booing returned in the 11th as Donaire rarely landed any punches until the final seconds of the round.
In the 12th round, Donaire landed a strong combination but could not finish. Narvaez briefly had him against the ropes but Donaire escaped though in the final seconds he flailed against the ropes.