It's now or never for Navarro
Three chances at a world title, and three times Jose Navarro has come up empty. With time ticking on his career, will the fourth time be the charm?
Jose Navarro has fought for the super flyweight title three times. Three times he has lost decisions. Two of those fights took place in Japan; the other was in Russia.Navarro gets another crack at the super flyweight title on Saturday night, this time on U.S. soil. But he is taking on Cristian Mijares, arguably the best 115-pound boxer in the world. Navarro can't catch a break. The Mijares-Navarro match is one of two super flyweight championship matches on the undercard of the Kelly Pavlik-Jermain Taylor show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and on HBO PPV on Saturday night. Junior bantamweight titleholder Fernando Montiel will take on ex-champion Martin Castillo in the other match.
|TV Lineup for Saturday's HBO PPV card (9 p.m. ET) from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas: • Junior lightweights: Juan Manuel Marquez (48-3-1, 35 KOs) vs. Manny Pacquiao (45-3-2, 34 KOs), rematch, 12 rounds, for Marquez's title/vacant Ring magazine title • Featherweights: Steven Luevano (34-1, 15 KOs) vs. Terdsak Jandaeng (29-2, 19 KOs), 12 rounds, for Luevano's title • Bantamweights: Abner Mares (15-0, 9 KOs) vs. Diosdado Gabi (30-3-1, 22 KOs), 12 rounds • Junior welterweights: David Diaz (33-1-1, 17 KOs) vs. Ramon Montano (15-4-2, 1 KO), 10 rounds -- Dan Rafael|
That loss to Kirilov last November made Navarro a three-time loser in world title matches. It is more chances than most boxers get in a lifetime. That fact is not lost on Navarro on the eve of his match against Mijares.
"I appreciate the chance to fight for a title again," Navarro said. "I believe I've worked hard enough and I've paid my dues in the gym to get this chance. I feel like having a chance to fight for the title in the United States and all the work I've put in at the gym will make a difference."
Getting past Mijares won't be easy. A native of Durango, Mexico, Mijares goes counter to the stereotypical Mexican brawler. He is a slick southpaw who can outbox his opponents if he has to. "He's obviously a very good fighter. He has a lot of talent," Navarro said. "I look at every world champion as a very good fighter. But every fighter makes mistakes. I plan on taking advantage of his mistakes." Tim Smith is the boxing columnist for the New York Daily News.
PAVLIK VS. TAYLOR II
vs. JERMAIN TAYLOR
Saturday, Feb. 16, Las Vegas
• Mulvaney: The lead-up to the big fight (Thursday)
• Mulvaney: The lead-up to the big fight (Wednesday)
• Rafael: Pavlik still an ordinary guy
• Rafael: Taylor hoping to get back on track
• Houston: There's always a catch
• Willis: Five things to look out for in the rematch
• Dettloff: Pavlik-Taylor II preview
• Raskin: Pavlik looking to shine
• Smith: Now or never for Navarro
• Houston: Memorable fights at catchweights
• Dan Rafael
• Bert Sugar
• Jermain Taylor 2/12
• Jermain Taylor 1/30
• Kelly Pavlik 2/13
• Kelly Pavlik 2/1
• A few words with Pavlik