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 Joshua: I'd Knock Wilder Out With One Shot, Smack Parker Around! Manny Pacquiao Hints That He Wants Conor McGregor Next Groves: Eubank Improved, But Never Boxed Anyone on My Level Photos: Devon Alexander Returns Strong, Dominates Castillo Barrera 'Bitter' About Shabranskyy Getting Title Shot Before Him Austin Trout: Jacobs Beat Golovkin, He's The Best at 160! Kovalev: Loss to Ward in Our Rematch Didn't Break Me Mentally Saunders: I'll Beat Lemieux Convincingly, No Robbery Worries Frank Warren Says Door is Wide Open For Scott Quigg To Join Parker: I'm a Big Risk - Joshua Needs Over 65%, Rematch Clause Parker Promoter: More People Contacted Us About Joshua's Chin Joshua's Promoter: I Can't See a Wilder Deal, Parker More Likely Video: Golden Boy's Diaz Talks Cotto vs. Ali, Arum's Beef, More Alexander Dimitrenko Back on December 22, Adrian Granat Too Sergey Kovalev - From a Single Point to a Question Mark Wilder To Hearn: Add Joshua To Whyte Deal - I'll Whip Their Asses! Video: Kathy Duva Breaks Down HBO Triple, Kovalev's Return Video: Jason Sosa Discusses Yuriorkis Gamboa Showdown Sullivan Barrera to face Sergey Kovalev or Dmitry Bivol in 2018? Farmer Confident of Title Win: None of These Dudes Can Beat Me! Austin Trout: I Would Love To Fight Julian Williams Shabranskyy Sparred With Bivol, Benavidez for Kovalev Fight Video: Yuriorkis Gamboa Discusses Career, Jason Sosa Clash Video: Sergey Kovalev Talks Ward, Shabranskyy, Car Accident David Haye Vows To Recover, To Come Back Strong in 2018 Golovkin Blown Away By Treatment in The Motherland - Mexico Photos: Yuriorkis Gamboa, Jason Sosa - Go Face To Face Photos: Sullivan Barrera, Felix Valera - Square Up in New York City Photos: Kovalev, Shabranskyy - Face To Face at Final Presser Peltz: Sosa-Gamboa Will Be HBO's Fight of the Night Saturday Eubank Sr. Takes a Deep Dig at Groves' Trainer Shane McGuigan Parker Promoter To Hearn: Worry About Joshua's Chin, Not Presser! James Toney To Joshua: Put on Big-Boy Pants, Come Fight in U.S. News: Cornflake LaManna, Blair Cobbs, Liliana Palmera, More Hearn Thinks Parker Promoter is Bonkers After Presser on Joshua Oscar Valdez To Target Carl Frampton Showdown in 2018 Gary Russell Jr: Will Golden Boy Promotions Let Diaz Fight Me? Duva: 'Irrelevant' Stevenson Has No Interest in Fighting Kovalev Eubank Sr: I Don't See How George Groves Will Go The Distance Wanheng Menayothin Goes for 49-0 in Upcoming Defense
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement