April 30, 2004

Navarro, Bojorquez Steal Heavyweight Thunder

By Fiona Manning

It wasn’t hard for 2000 Olympian, super-flyweight sensation Jose Navarro to steal the show Saturday night in the co-feature bout of the K2 Promotions world heavyweight card at Staples Center.

Navarro, unlike Corrie Sanders - who confronted gigantic Vitali Klitshcko for the WBC heavyweight title vacated by retired champion Lennox Lewis - actually trained for his fight against Martin Armenta.

It tells you something about the wasteland that has become the heavyweight division, when the undercards far outshine the main event.

Sadly, 16,000 paying customers at Staples Center mostly missed firehouse junior middleweight Carlos “El Elegante” Bojorquez in his “walk-out” bout after the fight.

They came to see heavyweight history. They sort of did. Rarely has a fighter come in so out of shape as Corrie Sanders did.

He gave himself, as they say politely in boxing circles, a ‘puncher’s chance’ to beat Klitschko.

The South African who has since retired after being stopped in eight grueling rounds by Klitschko, will resume his real love; golfing.

Navarro has no other interest than boxing. He showed with skill and flair, why he is one of the best young talents in boxing by thoroughly dominating Armenta for five rounds before the bout was stopped.

Southpaw Navarro set up his combinations with his right jab, almost landing at will followed by two or three punch combinations.

Sensing his opponent would not be able to withstand the hard shots, Navarro used his left hand constantly.

Navarro fought with precision and power, finally overwhelming Armenta completely.

At the end of the fifth round, a dispirited Armenta told his corner that he was unable to continue, allowing Navarro to win by knockout.

After the bout, Navarro was his own critic about certain things he worked on in the ring.

“I felt that we can do better,” Navarro said.

Nobody heard either the lackluster Klitschko or the unprepared Sanders talking that way after their fight.

“The guy was tough. I knew it was going to be a tough fight. He came here to win. My trainer Frank [Rivera] and I have been working with our power since November. I wish I would have had the knockout, but a win is a win.”

Navarro is ranked number one by the WBC and his management company, Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions’ spokesman Raul Jaimes said that most likely Navarro would fight on the undercard of Japanese sensation Masanori Tokuyama’s mandatory bout in July, then fight the champion later in the month.

“I would like to go after any world champion,” Navarro said. “Whichever champion would want to give me an opportunity. I feel that the better fighters bring the best out of me.”

Navarro said that he has practicing his Japanese, “I’ve already learned how to say ‘I love Japanese people.’”

Hard-hitting Navarro, from Los Angeles, is now 20-0, 8 KO’s. Armenta, from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, drops to 10-6-3, 6 KO’s.

In the walkout bout of the evening, Carlos Bojorquez showed he still has gunpower packed in his gloves by knocking out durable Ronald Weaver in the fourth round of a scheduled eight round bout.

Bojorquez stood in and landed some hard shots against Weaver. He mixed in hard right hands to the head, then to the body. Weaver was equally aggressive, countering any offense thrown by Bo-jorquez.

In the third round, Bojorquez took control of the fight and in the fourth, he began to catch Weaver with more succession.

A combination followed by a left hook hurt Weaver. Another combination followed by a right hand dropped Weaver to the canvas. Weaver stayed on one knee and was counted out by referee Pat Russell at 41 seconds of the fourth round.

“I’m very happy with the fight and I felt very strong,” said Bojorquez, who is coming off a 10 round decision loss to Kassim Ouma. “I’m willing to fight anyone in the world. Maybe even (Javier) Castilljeo.”

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