Omar Narvaez stops Nikolai Potapov in eight, earns title shot vs. Zolani Tete
Omar Narvaez may be 42 years old but he’s not slowing down anytime soon, especially since he will likely challenge for a world title in his next fight.
Narvaez broke down previously-unbeaten Nikolai Potapov through seven rounds, earning a technical knockout victory at the beginning of the eighth round Saturday night at the Estadio Obras Sanitarias in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
With the win, Narvaez (47-2-2, 25 knockouts) earns a mandatory title shot against WBO bantamweight titleholder Zolani Tete.
The veteran southpaw, a longtime former titleholder at flyweight and junior bantamweight, began connecting with more regularity by the third round. Narvaez chose to work from the center of the ring, countering anytime Potapov threw.
By the fifth round, Narvaez initiated exchanges with Potapov, forcing the Russia-born fighter to fight off his back foot. As he continued to close the distance between the two, Narvaez let his hands go, connection repeatedly to the body.
Potapov (17-1-1, 8 KOs) was in survival mode in the seventh round as Narvaez battered him against the ropes, landing numerous punches flush to the head and body. After the round ended, Potapov’s corner told referee Celestino Ruiz to stop the fight, saving Potapov from receiving any more punishment.
Entering Saturday’s bout, Narvaez and Potapov were ranked number one and two by the WBO, respectively.
In the 10-round co-feature bout, bantamweight Diego Ruiz (15-2, 8 KOs) stopped Silvio Arano (7-4-1, 2 KOs) in the fifth round.
TyC Sports broadcasted the fight live throughout Argentina.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing