Rolando Dy comes from a famous boxing family. Having made his name as a mixed martial artist the UFC veteran has now gone back to his boxing roots and is coming off a big win in London las weekend.
Dy is estranged from his father, Rolando Navarrete, who was a WBC super featherweight champion. But boxing is in his blood and, after suffering a slump in his MMA results, the 32 year old is enjoying success as a bare knuckle fighter.
Last weekend he stopped George Hillyard in the fourth round at BKB 34 in London:
It was Dy’s second bare knuckle boxing bout and he has won both of them by TKO. Afterwards he called out reigning BKB middleweight champion Barrie Jones,
“If Barrie Jones wants to do it at 74kgs, let’s do it. I’m in this sport because I want to be a champion.”
Jones is currently 10-0 in bare knuckle boxing. He holds a first round stoppage win over another UFC veteran, Will Chope, from early in his career and is considered to be one of the best in the sport.
With 32 professional bouts and ten bare knuckle bouts on his record Jones is much more experienced than Dy. But the Filipino contender has made an undefeated start to life in the squared circle without boxing gloves.
In some ways history is repeating itself. His father won the WBC super featherweight belt in Italy in 1981, and now his son is making a name for himself boxing in Europe.
But the parallels pretty much end there. Rolando Navarrete spent several years in prison after being convicted of rape and has had well publicized issues with drugs and alcohol.
By contrast his son has maintained a good reputation throughout a career that has taken in stints with PXC, UAE Warriors and Brave as well as the UFC. The clean cut Dy is happily married and owns his own gym in Manila.
Navarette has seven children with a variety of different mothers and not all of them have fared as well as Dy. In 2019 Rolando Navarrete II was murdered in the Philippines in a hit that police declared was drug related.