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Navarro Handles Gonzalez

BOXING

April 18, 2003|Paul Gutierrez | Times Staff Writer

Just because it's uncharted territory doesn't mean it's terrain too tough to navigate.

Fighting 12 rounds for the first time in his career, Jose Navarro successfully defended his International Boxing Assn. Continental Americas super-flyweight championship with a unanimous decision over Jorge Luis Gonzalez before 4,056 at the Olympic Auditorium on Thursday night.

All three judges scored the bout, 118-110, as did The Times.

"I learned a lot out there," said the 115-pounder from South Los Angeles, who fought in the 2000 Olympics. "It feels great. It gives me confidence. I got a little tired in [the middle rounds] but once I got my second wind, I came back stronger."

Utilizing an impressive array of combinations, from both outside and inside, the left-handed Navarro (17-0) picked apart his opponent in the early rounds and used his more composed style to hold off the often flailing but game Gonzalez (15-3).

Ranked fifth by the World Boxing Organization and 13th by the World Boxing Council, Navarro, 21, is in no real hurry to get a world title shot.

"Not yet," he said. "By the beginning of next year I'll be ready. I'm not going to be greedy and rush things."

In the semi-main event, lightweight Mike Anchondo, 20, passed the toughest test of his career against veteran Roque Cassiani when referee James Jen-Kin stopped the bout 47 seconds into the 10th and final round.

Anchondo (21-0, 17 KOs), a fan favorite from La Puente, had Cassiani (21-12-1) in trouble in the ninth and Jen-Kiin seemed to stop the fight then before letting it continue. Anchondo then caught him on the ropes again in the 10th.

In another fight on the card, lightweight Alfonso Garcia (5-6) stunned the crowd and previously unbeaten Ruben Garza (9-1) with a second-round knockout.

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