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In Time, Navarro Gets His Man

Boxing: Left-hander withstands early charge from Badillo, then finishes him with combination at 2:59 of third.


RESEDA — There may have been a strong physical resemblance, but Marcos Badillo was no match for Carlos Navarro on Saturday night at the Reseda Country Club.

Both weighed in at 123 1/2 pounds for the 10-round super-bantamweight nontitle fight. Both are left-handers with hard-punching styles who forged a close contest for the better part of three rounds.

Navarro, a former Goodwill Games and Olympic Festival champion from Los Angeles, finally settled the issue with two devastating punches that left Badillo unable to continue at 2:59 of the third round.

Navarro, 17-0 with 14 knockouts, weathered an early charge from Badillo, 15-5, who landed a few impressive combinations of his own. But his counter-punching kept him from trouble and he bided his time.

"The beginning rounds are always like that," Navarro said. "You have to look for an opening and take your time."

The end came quickly when Navarro landed a lightning right-left combination that dropped Badillo on the seat of his pants against the ropes. An overhand right dropped Badillo again seconds later and referee Raul Caiz stepped in.

"We've been working a lot against lefties," Navarro said. "I could have went out there and fought a crazy fight from the beginning, but I wanted to take my time. The straight left is what got it done."

The International Boxing Assn. bantamweight title remained vacant after Sergio Aguila of Mexico and Luis Rolon of Puerto Rico fought to a 12-round draw in the main event.

Aguila, 24-12 with 16 knockouts, and Rolon, 18-3 with 12 knockouts, traded pounding blows from start to finish and both appeared to have the other in trouble.

In another hard-fought bout, Dagoberto Najera won a four-round majority decision over Jorge Vera in a junior-welterweight fight.

Najera improved to 3-0. Vera fell to 0-2.

In a scheduled six-round super-featherweight bout, Martin Castillo recorded a second-round knockout over Antonio Perez.

Roger Medal recorded a fifth-round knockout over Mario Sanchez in a junior-lightweight bout scheduled for six rounds.

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