Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Hugo Cazares-Omar Narvaez?, There’s Still Life at 115

By Cliff Rold

It’s not an argument.

If Bantamweight is not the best weight class in boxing right now (and, for the record, it is), it’s right near the top of the heap.  It’s a fact.  It’s also a pleasant surprise after too many periods over the last thirty years where the division struggled to consistently pull together the pieces for extended runs.

It should not be a surprise that it is occurring given recent history.

Boxing, with seventeen weight classes to go around, makes for pretty seamless transitions of quality upwards on the scale.  For instance, it’s worth wagering today’s red-hot Jr. Welterweights is merely an indication of where Welterweight and Jr. Middleweight will be a couple years from now.

Don’t believe it?

Where were the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto just a few years ago?  Where are they now?

And, no, that’s not meant literally, so no need for “fighting with security guards” or “fighting old dudes” quips.

Flying almost tragically below the radar for much of the 00’s, the best division that rarely got the full measure of credit it deserved was Jr. Bantamweight.  It produced steadily, in the U.S., Mexico, and Japan most notably.  Men like Fernando Montiel, Alexander Munoz, Jorge Arce, Martin Castillo, Katsushige Kawashima, and the borderline great Masamori Tokuyama provided quality fights at high levels for years. 

The culmination of the era came in 2008, a pair of unification contests (Munoz-Cristian Mijares and Mijares-Vic Darchinyan) culminating with the first tri-belted 115 lb. champ since the division was born in the 1980s.

With only three pounds between Jr. and senior Bantamweight, many of the defeated and the victorious alike moved up.  Montiel and Nonito Donaire have both come to 118 from below (112 and 115 for good measure); Darchinyan also reigned at 112 before his rise.  They joined a stellar cast already in place, leaving their old haunts…

…well, looking a bit the ghost town. 

There is little argument to be had that 115 is anywhere near what it was in the 00’s right now. 

That doesn’t mean it’s dead.

As long as there is a solid core in place, any division can come to life with the right matches.  Reporting from Ernesto Castellanos on Tuesday indicated one of the right matches might be coming together: Hugo Cazares vs. Omar Narvaez in an April unification.

Mexico’s Cazares (34-6-2, 24 KO), a former legitimate World champion at 108 lbs., skipped two classes to become the Jr. Bantamweight’s current sparkplug and WBA titlist.  His two battles with Japan’s Nobuo Nashiro in 2009 and 2010 have been highlights while the true champion of the class, Darchinyan, bounced between 115 and 118.  In the last decade and change, the only fighter who got the better of the rugged Cazares was the brilliant Ivan Calderon.

Argentina’s Narvaez (32-0-2, 19 KO) is a former WBO Flyweight titlist who defended that title 16 times against a field that looks better, in retrospect, all the time.  Carlos Tamara, Brahim Asloum, and Luis Lazarte all won major belts after being handled by Narvaez.  That retrospect doesn’t mean respect in all circles and Narvaez could use a notable win to define himself.  He’s already picked up a WBO diadem at 115.

The fight is a great idea that might also end up a great fight.

Add to this pair the continuing career of Nashiro (14-2-1, 9 KO), who fights for a WBC belt next month; the rise of Daiki Kameda, former WBA Flyweight titlist; and a return to form for Mijares late last year.  The Mexican slickster looked in bad shape after following the Darchinyan loss with a pair of decision drops at Bantamweight to Nehomar Cermeno. 

However, rumors of Mijares’ fistic demise were…insert the rest of the trope.  Mijares (41-6-2, 18 KO) never really fell as far as it seemed.  The first Cermeno fight could easily have gone his way; both Darchinyan and Cermeno are fine foes.  Mijares showed, in winning the IBF belt from Juan Alberto Rosas last December he’s still got plenty to give.

Could plenty mean the winner of a Cazares-Narvaez fight?  Will Kameda be first in line for that victor as a mandatory or will “Super champion” rules kick in.

They are good questions.  They are questions worth finding the answers to.  It’s happening at 115.

Not bad for a down period. 

Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Shadows on 01-19-2011

[QUOTE=crold1;9981378]Keep an eye on Luis Concepcion at 112 as well. He will rise eventually I'm sure and may be the uncrowned king at Flyweight already.[/QUOTE] With the way the weight class is at the moment, he may just be. At…

Comment by jreckoning on 01-19-2011

[quote=crold1;9981378]Keep an eye on Luis Concepcion at 112 as well. He will rise eventually I'm sure and may be the uncrowned king at Flyweight already.[/quote] El Nica is definitely the most exciting bomber in flyweight. The way he wrecked Kaovichit…

Comment by crold1 on 01-19-2011

[QUOTE=giacomino;9978260]Agree that Cazares-Narvaez has the potential to be an excellent. Narvaez is a superb boxer but, at 35, I think he showed signs of fading a little in his last bout. Cazares-Nashiro were great fights. Nashiro should win a title…

Comment by giacomino on 01-19-2011

Agree that Cazares-Narvaez has the potential to be an excellent. Narvaez is a superb boxer but, at 35, I think he showed signs of fading a little in his last bout. Cazares-Nashiro were great fights. Nashiro should win a title…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (4)
Top Headlines Kovalev Feels Boost With Russian Coach For Andre Ward Rematch Photos: Andrzej Fonfara Open Workout For Stevenson Rematch Kudryashov vs. Durodola II Undercard is Coming Together Felix Alvarado, Rene Alvarado, Byron Rojas Get Knockout Wins Groves: I'm Sure I'll Beat DeGale Again, I Beat Him Twice Already Tim Tszyu Set To Return on July 22 in Toowoomba Sanchez: Golovkin Will Wear Canelo Down By Eight or Ninth Michael Conlan: I Want a Better Opponent Next, A Real Threat Who Can Handle "The Truth" After Brook-Spence? Joshua Could Lose IBF Belt Prior To Klitschko II, Pulev Stands Firm Omar Narvaez vs. Nikolay Potapov For WBO Interim-Title Diego Chaves Lands Grudge Match, Fabian Maidana on Undercard Golden Boy Prez on Working With Cotto Again, Canelo Rematch Povetkin vs. Rudenko Will Require Doping Tests, Says Manager Lipinets' Manager: Indongo Will Face Crawford, Belt Will Be Vacant Roach Relieved, Says Pacquiao Finally Getting Back into Form Miguel Cotto Will Resume Training at Wild Card on July 3 Bellew: Brook Had The Fight Beaten Out of Him By Errol Spence Porter: Spence Sent Message To Entire Welterweight Division Khan Wants to Fight Brook at Bramall Lane Next Summer Spence Broke Brook's Left Orbital Bone, Surgery a Possibility Spence: Brook Had To Quit - Or Eye May Get Permanent Damage Alexander vs. Collazo in Play For Potential Garcia-Broner Card Spence: I Proved Myself; Now It's Time for Thurman to Fight Me! Photos: Errol Spence Drops, Stops Kell Brook - MONSTER Gallery Photos: Groves Finally Does It, Stops Chudinov To Become Champ Callum Smith Pumped, Feels 100% Ready For Anthony Dirrell Groves: Who Wants To Fight Me? I'm Tired of Chasing People Papazov Edges Chaniev, Chebotarev Gets Another Kayo Win Arum: If McGregor Can't Get Mayweather, Then Pacquiao is There! Marquez Fires Back at Miguel Cotto: Take Care of Kamegai First! WBC Asian Boxing Council: Titov and Kurbanov Are Honoured Julio Ceja Drops, Stops Anselmo Moreno in Three Rounds Orlando Salido Gets Off The Floor To Stop Perez in Eight Spence: I Was Sluggish, Wasn't Sharp; Give Myself a B-Minus Video: Errol Spence Gives His Take on Kell Brook Taking a Knee Video: Eddie Hearn on Brook's Future, Groves Winning Belt, More Kell Brook: I Just Couldn't See, I Had To Take a Knee Spence: I Knew Kell Brook Would Break Down If I Pressed Him Video: Errol Spence Discusses KO Title Win at Post Fight Presser
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement