The sport we love and hate more than our significant others at times is one that is brutal physically and mentally. However, life can be even more savage in nature and deal you a hand that makes it impossible to win even one game.
Super flyweight prospect George “El Phantasma” Navarro (6-0-1) was given a healthy dose of life lessons starting at the age of six, which has led him to turn pro and pursue a career in the “sweet science.”
In my consistent tour of the club show scene, specifically “Hollywood Fight Nights,” “El Phantasma” caught my eye and since then, his record and following continues to increase with every win he obtains.
George Navarro had a relatively short amateur career, which saw him fight thirty times with only three losses. During that time, he was able to become a two time national champion and earn a Pre-Olympic National Silver Medal.
Fight fans, let me introduce you to George “El Phantasma” Navarro.
AG) George, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Let’s start by telling the readers where you are from and how it was growing up in the Navarro household?
GN) I was born in Huntington Park, California, which is close to Compton. I am the youngest of four brothers and one sister. At the age of six, my parents separated and I was left to live with my mother, sister and two of my brothers. The two oldest brothers ended up living with my father. That was a hard time for my siblings and me, especially since I was so young. At that same age, I started boxing in the backyard where my grandfather had us going up against each other and other kids. I come from a boxing family, as my father and grandfather both were involved in boxing in some capacity and really enjoyed watching it. At eight years of age, that’s when I started to box and get serious about it. Growing up in L.A, where there was plenty of gang activity, it was hard to avoid getting caught up with that lifestyle so boxing rescued me from that.
AG) Growing up in L.A, who was the fighter that influenced you and ultimately helped make your decision to pursue a career in boxing. Was there also a specific fight that really got your attention initially?
GN) As I mentioned before, I grew up in a boxing family but the fighter that really solidified that for me was Oscar De La Hoya. His 2006 fight against Ricardo Mayorga was the one that really did it for me and I knew then that this was what I wanted to pursue in life.
AG) You turned pro at the age of eighteen, what did that feel like and what were some of the thoughts running through your head at that moment?
GN) While in high school, I got caught up at times with the wrong crowd and I decided to drop out of school. Once I turned eighteen, I went pro because I wanted to be successful in boxing enough to give back to my mother and family. My mom did a lot on her own to help raise my siblings and me so I want to be able to give back to her.
AG) Where did the nickname “El Phantasma” (“Ghost,” in English) come from?
GN) It was a nickname that was given to me by other fighters in the gym. When I was starting out, I used to be really quiet and just paying attention to everything going on in the gym. I kept to myself and continued to train. Some of the veteran fighters would jokingly say “ What’s up with Phantasma over there?” and it just stuck as a nickname after that.
AG) What are some of the professional and personal goals you have set for yourself?
GN) First and foremost, I would like to win a title and then unify them at super flyweight. Aside from that, I have started to do some modeling in an effort to gain more awareness to my brand. I am also looking to get into real estate and even a clothing brand in order to further develop my profile.
AG) Being in Southern California, some of the best sparring is available for fighters since so many former and current world champions reside here. Who are some of those guys that you have been able to mix it up in the ring with?
GN) I have had the privilege of being in the ring with guys like Leo Santa Cruz, Carlos Castro and Jose Gomez. It was definitely a valuable experience being in the ring with those guys.
AG) In your last fight, I noticed veteran boxing warrior Jesus Soto Karass in your corner. Can you tell us about that relationship?
GN) Jesus Soto Karass has been a mentor to me. He motivates me in the gym, pushes me to work harder and works the mitts with me. He has definitely helped me and continues to help me so that I can become a world champion in the future.
AG) Your last three fights have been on the 360 Promotions “Hollywood Fight Nights” event that is put on by Tom Loeffler. What is your current promotional status?
GN) 360 Promotions has treated me very well and have kept me really active. This last card had me billed as the Co-Main Event. I appreciate all of the support they have given me and right now it looks as though I will be working with them in July. We will see what the future holds so stay tuned!
AG) Where can fans follow you on social media so that they can join you on your journey to success?
GN) Fans can follow me on twitter (@GeorgeNavarro35) ,Instagram (@georgenavarro35) and on Facebook (George Navarro).
If anyone has the vision to scout talent in the Super Flyweight division, there is no question it’s Tom Loeffler. His legendary “SuperFly” events beamed an extremely bright light on a division that was ignored for years. I have a feeling that Tom knows that George Navarro has the talent to become special one day.
Make sure you add this article link to your bookmarks as this kid will be on the express lane to stardom soon enough and I wouldn’t be surprised if 360 Promotions is driving that vehicle straight to the top.
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