By Ronnie Nathanielsz


The planned battle between Z “The Dream” Gorres and WBC title contender Jose Navarro is off and the former US Olympic boxer whose only defeat was a controversial loss to super flyweight champion Katsushige Kawashima has been replaced by hard-hitting Mexican Gerson Guerrero who is the reigning WBO Latino champion. International promoter Murad Muhammad gave no indication as to why the Navarro fight didn’t push through but there were indications the young American didn’t wish to risk his chances of a mandatory title shot against the winner of the Kawashima rematch with former champion Masamori Tokuyama which had been ordered by the WBC.


The WBC acted after Navarro’s handlers vehemently protested the decision in favor of Kawashima who appeared to be badly beaten but still got the split decision win in Tokyo. The 27 year old Guerrero has a record of 29-5 with 22 knockouts. He is coming off a sixth round TKO over Jair Jimenez last December 17 after earlier scoring a close but unanimous decision over Jimenez on July 16, 2004.


 Gorres who has been training at the gym of 2002 “Trainer of the Year” Buddy McGirt along with former WBC super flyweight champion Gerry Penalosa is reportedly in fine condition although because of a lack of sparring partners, Gorres and Penalosa have had to spar against each other. Penalosa, the 32 year old who has impressed McGirt especially with his punching power is being lined up for a fight sometime in April by Murad Muhammad.


McGirt told Ring Magazine featherweight champion Manny Pacquiao’s business manager Rod Nazario who visited the McGirt gym in Orlando, Florida along with Murad that “both boys can fight” and have the potential to become world champions. Gorres is coming off an impressive unanimous ten rounds decision over Thailand’s Chaiyong Distar last December 11 in the undercard of the Pacquiao-Fahsan 3K Battery “Yanig sa Taguig” fight card at The Fort.


Edito “Ala” Villamor, the trainer of Gorres in the Philippines will be in the corner of Gorres along with McGirt during the fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. McHirt welcomed the presence of Villamor saying “its no problem, I’d love to have him with us.”