Rocha outpoints Navarro on ‘Solo Boxeo’
Nestor Rocha, of Montebello, Calif., lands a punishing left uppercut to the jaw of Jose Navarro, of South-Central L.A., en route to scoring an eight-round unanimous decision on Friday in Los Angeles. Photo / Naoki Fukuda
Come-backing former bantamweight contender Nestor Rocha scored a significant victory by outpointing veteran Jose Navarro over eight rounds in the main event of a Telefutura-televised card from Los Angeles on Friday.
Rocha (23-2, 8 knockouts), who won by unanimous scores of 79-73, was simply too big and strong for the 10-year veteran, who fought with a swollen shut right eye from the third round on.
The bout was fought at a brisk pace and both L.A.-area boxers were busy throughout, but
Navarro (27-6, 12 KOs) was unable to hurt or move Rocha despite counter punching well in spots.
The 29-year-old southpaw, who earned a spot on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team and challenged four times for junior bantamweight titles, was able to make Rocha miss often but he could not mount an effective attack.
Rocha patiently walked Navarro down with a concentrated body attack and occasional hooks to the head, which quickly closed the veteran's right eye. Navarro staged a brief rally in the sixth by outworking Rocha but he sustained a cut over his right eye by the end of the round.
It was not his night. Navarro's spirit was willing and the skills that made him a perennial contender at 115 pounds were evident but his face and body were not holding up under Rocha's pressure.
Rocha landed clean head shots in the final two rounds to clinch the victory, his second in a row since suffering a first-round KO loss to Japan's Hozumi Hasegawa in a bantamweight title bout last July.
In the co-featured bout of the 'Solo Boxeo' broadcast, lightweight prospect Luis Ramos (17-0, 8 KOs) scored an eight-round decision over late-sub John Figueroa (7-7-3, 3 KOs) in an entertaining bout that was far more competitive than the one-sided scorecards indicate.
Ramos, who won by unanimous scores of 80-71, dropped Figueroa with a hook-cross combination in the final minute of the eighth round but the 22-year-old southpaw from Santa Ana, Calif., appeared to be wobbled in the seventh and suffered significant facial lacerations.
Most of the fast-paced bout was fought at close quarters. Ramos often pressed Figueroa to the ropes and raked the older, slower man with right hooks to the body and head but the 30-year-old journeyman from Puerto Rico, who kept a high guard throughout, always answered back with heavy body and head shots of his own.