August 18, 2000
After 20 years of boxing on an
amateur level, Chula Vista's Arturo Navarro will make his professional
debut on September 21 at the Irvine Marriott Hotel. Navarro will
share the card with two other debuting professionals and will
learn which opponent awaits him in Irvine within the next few
When he is not boxing, Navarro, who is one of only a few Mexican-born heavyweights, is a popular figure on the Bonita Vista High School campus. From 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 in the afternoon, Navarro patrols the campus in a golf cart making his security rounds. Juggling the two careers is often difficult and he has only persevered in boxing by filling his time away from school with countless hours of torturous training. Now he believes he is ready for the pro ranks.
Navarro began boxing at the tender age of eight, shortly after he arrived in the U.S. from Mexico City. "My Mom wanted to keep my brother and I out of the gangs, so she took us to the gym," says Navarro. And despite three broken noses, a fractured rib and many lesser injuries, Navarro is still boxing 20 years later.
"With boxing, there is always
a challenge out there and you have to give it your all and be
at your best to defeat your opponent," says the broadly muscled
fighter who bares a striking resemblance to the actor, Antonio
Banderas. "Boxing helped me to stay out of trouble as a kid
and has helped me to stay dedicated and focused.
Navarro enjoys the spartan lifestyle that accompanies boxing. "I go to bed early and get up early and I train for four or five hours a day," he says. A strong Christian, Navarro shuns drugs and alcohol and promotes a drug-free lifestyle among the many people he encounters. He is happy to tell the students on his campus and the aspiring boxers he councils at the gym, "I don't need to use drugs or drink to have fun." In this way, Navarro enjoys being a positive role model.
He has often been confronted by people within his church who question his motives with boxing. "They ask me why I continue to box when my punches may end up injuring my opponents. I have prayed about it. If in my heart, God told me to stop then I would give it up in a second." But until that sign comes, Navarro will pursue his dream of one day being the world's first Mexican heavyweight champion. The chances of the 29 year old boxer getting a title shot are of course very remote, but his love for the sport prods him onward.
A lifelong boxing enthusiast, Navarro considers Julio Cesar
Chavez to be the greatest Mexican fighter of all time followed
by Salvador Sanchez. Navarro however, has drawn more inspiration
from the former heavyweight champion, George Foreman. Foreman
is a man Navarro considers to be not only the greatest boxer,
but also one of the best role models the ring has ever
"When he came out of retirement, some people thought he was too old and too slow to be anything more than a joke. Few people believed in him, but I saw that look (of desire) in his eyes," said Navarro. It's the same look that Navarro sees when he looks in the mirror. For further information visit Arturo Navarro's boxing website at: www.the-gladiator.com.