When we talk about Filipino boxing now a days the first name that springs to mind is Manny Pacquiao. Back in the 1980's and 1990's however the first name to spring to mind for many fans was the exciting Rolando Navarrete (56-15-3, 33), aka the "Bad Boy from Dadiangas".
The talented Super Featherweight fought between 1973 and 1991 and was in some of the most amazing battles ever. His contests with Cornelius Boza Edwards and Rafael Limon were legendary and his high rolling, fast living party boy life style made him a hit to be around.
Despite being a great in the 1980's Navarrete's is now somewhat a forgotten figure in Filipino boxing history, with fans enamoured by the success of Pacquiao. We thought we'd try to shine a light on Navarrete here as we give you 10 facts you probably didn't know about... Rolando Navarrete
1-Navarrete made his professional debut just 3 days after his 16th birthday
2-Interestingly Navarrete suffered his second professional loss on the under-card of the "Thrilla in Manilla"
3-Navarette's younger brother, Romy Navarrete, was also a fighter and ran up a 39-16-1 (9) record. Whilst not an amazing fighter he did score a notable win over 3-time world title challenger Seung Koo Lee, and held the OPBF Flyweight title in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Notably Romy sadly lost to his most notable foes, including Yul Woo Lee, Greg Richardson and Luisito Espinosa
4-In 1984 Navarrete was sentenced to 20 years in prison for kidnapping and sexually abusing a bar hostess in Hawaii. He only served a short sentence however due to a release on humanitarian grounds. Reports suggest that he was set up by his then manager who was unhappy about Navarrete's refusal to fight under an American flag. This wasn't his first, or final, run in with the law. In fact he was involved in street fights and petty crime years later.
5-Navarrete has been in a number of violent incidents outside of the ring where he was the victim. This included a 2008 stabbing, where he was stabbed in the neck with an ice pick, a 2005 incident where he was hit with a steel pip and a 2006 case where he was hit in the let with a shot gun.
6-Navarrete, along with Rolando Bohol, featured 1988 Filipino sports film "Kambal Na Kamao: Madugong Engkwentro", with both fighters getting starring roles. The movie is about two fighters. It's been negatively reviewed due to it's story telling, but the fighters were well regarded, which shouldn't be a shock given they had two world class boxers involved.
7-In 2009 Navarrete had his physical WBC Super Featherweight world title stolen, from his home.
8-Filipino MMA fighter Rolando Dy is the son of Navarrete. The two didn't have the best of relationships, and Rolando Dy was essentially brought up by his mother, Jennifer Dy-Subastil, due to Navarrete's wild life style.
9-As well as Rolando Dy Navarrete had another son, Rolando Navarrete Jr. Jr had a short lived boxing career himself, going 2-2-1 (2) between 2010 and 2013. Sadly his life was taken in 2019 in what appeared to be a targeted murder after Jr in September.
10-At one point after retiring it was reported that Navarrete had been making money by selling fish, earning about about 800 Filipino Pesos a day.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).