Emanuel Navarrete Wins All Out War Against Joet Gonzalez
By: Hans Themistode
For most of Emanuel Navarrete’s three-year featherweight title reign, he made quick work of his opposition. With seven stoppage wins in his past eight fights, and two knockdowns against Ruben Villa, the lone fighter who went the full 12 round distance with Navarrete, the Mexican star was forced to bite down on his mouthpiece for the first time in several years.
At the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, this past Friday night, Navarrete took on former title challenger Joet Gonzalez.
Things didn’t start the way Gonzalez had been hoping for. A cut under his right eye which was ruled to have been caused by a legal punch in the second round left him bloodied. Despite the unfortunate start, Gonzalez pushed ahead and landed several hard shots on his man.
The two continued the back and forth action throughout much of the first half of their contest but it was Navarrete who appeared to have a bit more in the gas tank. In the 12th and final round, determined to retain his world title, Navarrete attempted to close the show by throwing a fight-high 104 punches. Gonzalez, on the other hand, didn’t back down from the high volume of Navarrete. The two-time title challenger threw 79 punches of his own.
In the end, the high work rate of Navarrete allowed him to prolong his title reign. But, seeing how close their showdown ultimately was, Navarrete is more than willing to give Gonzalez another chance.
“It was a very close fight but I think the difference between us was conditioning,” Navarrete said in his post-fight interview. “I hurt him, but every single time he came back. He also hurt me with a couple of shots that he landed during the fight. Without a doubt, I would give Gonzalez a rematch.”
Shakur Stevenson Eager For Emanuel Navarrete Showdown: “I Can’t Wait For Him To Come Up To 130”
By: Hans Themistode
While Shakur Stevenson is still getting acclimated to life at 130 pounds, the former Olympic silver medalist continues to keep tabs on his old weight class.
Although it no longer concerns him, Stevenson sat back and watched closely as WBO featherweight belt holder Emanuel Navarrete, took on former Stevenson foe, Christopher Diaz. The Mexican native had absolutely no trouble in destroying Diaz at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee Florida last night. Navarette outmuscled his man early, knocking him down four times before stopping him in the final round.
After watching Navarette take care of business, the current 130-pound contender is now chomping at the bit to step into the ring with him.
“I can’t wait for him to come up to 130,” said Stevenson on his Twitter account. “He don’t strike me as a duck like these other fighters.”
Regardless of the pair campaigning in two different weight classes, only four pounds separate them. With that said, a move up in weight isn’t expected from Navarette anytime soon considering he just arrived at 126 pounds last year. Ironically enough, Navarette’s arrival coincided with the departure of Stevenson and the subsequent vacating of his world title, something Navarette would pick up immediately.
Currently, Stevenson is in the midst of training camp as he prepares to take on Jeremiah Nakathila on June 12th for the interim WBO super featherweight title. With a win fully expected for the New Jersey native, Stevenson is positioning himself to take on full titleholder, Jamel Herring, who is coming off a huge win of his own against former two-division champion Carl Frampton.
According to Stevenson, the game plan is simple, take care of business against Nakathila and then move on to a showdown with Herring. If everything goes the way he envisions it, then he’ll get his chance sooner rather than later to knock Navarette off his high horse.
“If he vacate, I’m fighting for the title June 12th but honestly, if he comes up, I wouldn’t mind him being my first challenger for my belt.”
Emanuel Navarrete Drops, Stops Christopher Diaz
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.
Emanuel Navarrete Returns To The Ring Against Christopher Diaz On April 24th
By: Hans Themistode
It was about as one-sided an ass-kicking as you’ll see. But for featherweight contender Christopher Diaz, it may have prepared him for the opportunity now staring at him directly in the face.
After a protracted boxing lesson at the hands of Shakur Stevenson a year and a half ago, Diaz took his lumps on the night and has visibly improved. Now, with two wide decision victories under his belt, Diaz is being rewarded with his first crack at a world title against WBO belt holder Emanuel Navarette.
The Pair’s upcoming showdown is slated to headline an upcoming Top Rank card on April 24th.
Despite showing huge improvements since his loss to Stevenson, Diaz is figured to be a substantial underdog.
For Mexico’s Navarette, it’ll be his first attempt at defending his newly won WBO title. Before the rangy titlist grabbed the second title of his career, he was busy annihilating opponents four pounds lighter at super bantamweight. Yet, after defending his title for the fifth straight time, Navarette elected to move up, where he brought home another championship to add to his collection.
Unlike Navarette’s previous title bouts, Diaz, at least on paper, will present the multi-division champion with one of his more stiffer challenges.
Emanuel Navarete vs Uriel Lopez: Fight Preview
By: Hans Themistode
It was always a mystery how Emanuel Navarrete shrunk down his lanky 5 ft 7 inch frame down to 122 pounds. There were times that he struggled with the weight, but somehow, someway, he managed to reel off 26 straight victories and grab the WBO Super Bantamweight title.
Come tonight however, in Mexico City, Navarete has decided to try his hand four pounds north. Meeting him at the door of his new weight class will be journeyman Uriel Lopez (13-13-1, 6 KOs). On paper, everything points in the favor of the former world champion. As previously mentioned, he is riding high from 26 straight wins. While his opponent on the other hand, has seemingly forgotten what it feels like to have his hand raised in victory following three straight losses.
Even with Uriel’s record littered with defeats, he has the opportunity of a lifetime to pull off the biggest upset of the year.
The impact of COVID-19 has run roughshod over the United States. But Mexico City is feeling the effects as well as there will be no fans in attendance.
For Uriel, the measurable’s, talent and expectations are all be against him. But the comfort of fighting at home in Mexico City, will provide him with a glimmer of hope.
Readying the stage for the main event will be a slew of unheralded Featherweight contenders. Carlos Ornelas, Edwin Palomares, Gustavo Pino and Sergio Sanchez will all have their moment in the sun tonight. Since pushing their Summer series, Top Rank has given a platform to lesser known fighters. And that appears to be the case here as well.
Those who are looking to catch up on the action will have to tune in later than previously scheduled shows. The top of the bill begins at 11 PM/ET on ESPN.