By: Hans Themistode
Christopher Diaz believed he was ready.
Following his one-sided decision loss at the hands of Shakur Stevenson roughly two years ago, Diaz not only reeled off two straight victories. Immediately following his latest win against Jason Sanchez, Diaz called for his shot at a world title. Answering the call was WBO belt holder Emanuel Navarrete.
At the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee Florida, Navarrete put on an absolute show.
From the very beginning, it was clear that Diaz wanted to stick and move and use his boxing ability. While it may have allowed him to pick up enough wins to place him on the championship level, Navarette proved that he needed much more in his arsenal when facing him. The WBO belt holder easily dealt with the nonstop movement of Diaz, cutting off the ring and employing a steady jab throughout the opening frame. Unable to pick up any momentum on the offensive end, Diaz appeared content with watching the seconds go off the clock as he attempted to figure out his man.
Diaz continued to box and move in the following frame. He did, however, infuse a bit of offense into his defensive attack, landing a few nice right hands. But while he began to find success, Navarette quickly ended any hope he had with a barrage of punches.
Navarette was fully comfortable and confident in round four. He faked a jab, moved to his left and uncorked a left uppercut and down went Diaz as a result. He managed to make it back to his feet but quickly found himself kissing the pavement again, this time in the eighth. Unlike before, where it seemed as though Diaz was just fine once he rose to his feet, this time around, he visibly hurt. Navarette charged straight ahead and scored yet another knockdown. The prolific finisher found his man to be much more durable than past opponents as Diaz continued to fight on.
Down considerably on the scorecards at this point, Diaz abandoned his defensive approach and let his hands go. He found moments of success as he began out working the two-division belt holder. Still, it was a case of too little too late.
Navarette entered the final round with the win safely in his back pocket if he merely managed to stay upright. Unsatisfied with a decision victory, Navarette instead elected to put the pedal to the metal and look for the finish. He found exactly what he was looking for as Diaz hit the deck again. Ever the warrior, Diaz pulled himself back up to his feet again, only to be reeled back in by head trainer, Nelson Rodriguez, who requested to end the one-sided beating.