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BOXING : Navarro Takes Top Honor at Golden Gloves

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Boxer Carlos Navarro was little known outside Los Angeles. But after a one-week trip to Little Rock, Ark., he will forever been known as a “Golden Boy.”

The 16-year-old amateur from South-Central not only won his weight class at the National Golden Gloves Championships, he also received the Golden Boy Award for being the tournament’s most outstanding boxer.

Navarro, who attends Metropolitan Continuation School, outpointed Troy Porter of Milwaukee to win the gold medal in the 112-pound division May 15.

Navarro, whose record is 60-9, is ranked No. 7 in his weight class by USA Boxing, the national governing body of amateur boxing.

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Navarro wants to become as famous as Oscar De La Hoya of East Los Angeles, who won a 1992 Olympic Gold Medal and has been riding a wave of endorsements after turning professional.

“My goal is to win a boxing gold medal at the 1996 Olympics,” Navarro said.

To get to Atlanta, Navarro needs a strong showing at the Olympic Festival, which will run June 23 through Aug. 1 in San Antonio. He expects second-ranked Arturo Hoffman to be among his four opponents at the festival.

“Hoffman is a boxer like myself, so I have to work his body and tire him out,” he said.

Navarro believes he has an edge after boxing in clubs and age-group tournaments: “I have a good chance to win (at the Olympic Festival) because I have fought a lot of older guys, which gives me an advantage over the younger guys.”

Boxing official Melanie Ley, who has known Navarro since he was 10, also believes the young boxer has the ability to perform well at the Olympic Festival: “Carlos has extremely quick hands and is an excellent technical boxer. He is the best 112-pound fighter in California.”

And now one of the best in nation.

In preliminary matches, Navarro posted wins against Chicago’s Jesus Gonzalez, New England’s Jason Pires, Washington’s Anthony Wilson and Mid-South Golden Gloves member LaRon Samuel, a national semifinalist last year.

While Navarro found success at the championships, another area fighter fell short in his quest.

Salvador Jasso, 17, of East Los Angeles, lost to Danny Biaza-Rios of San Antonio in the 132-pound finals and may not qualify for the Olympic Festival.

Jasso, a sophomore at Roosevelt High, received a bye in the first round, then defeated Tony Mestas of Colorado/New Mexico, James Crayton of Nevada and Anthony Christdoulou of Syracuse, N.Y., before falling to Biaza-Rios in the finals. Jasso’s record is 41-9.


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