Emanuel Navarrete retains title vs. Oscar Valdez in gripping, one-sided slugfest

Oscar Valdez (L) and Emanuel Navarrete went to warfare for 12 rounds Saturday in Glendale, Arizona. Navarrete gained by unanimous resolution. (Picture by Mikey Williams/High Rank Inc through Getty Photographs)

Emanuel Navarrete didn’t have the excessive profile that his opponent Saturday, Oscar Valdez, loved heading into their bout for the WBO tremendous featherweight title at Desert Diamond Area in Glendale, Arizona.

He left with the belt, the most important win of his profession and a drastically enhanced status after pounding out a unanimous resolution over Valdez, the previous champion. Judges scored it 116-112, 118-110 and 119-109 for Navarrete, who gained the struggle by pouring on the stress.

Even an injured, probably damaged, hand couldn’t sluggish him. He landed 72 energy punches whole within the first seven rounds in response to CompuBox, however linked on 104 within the final 5.

He damage Valdez and commanded his respect early on within the struggle. Valdez was staggered a number of instances within the early rounds and dug himself a gap.

The struggle was billed because the “Battle of Mexico,” and High Rank introduced in legendary Corridor of Famers Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera to participate within the festivities. Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., the best Mexican-born boxer ever, was working a Spanish-language TV broadcast.

The struggle didn’t come near matching the brilliance of the three Barrera-Morales fights, which stay among the many biggest on this century. It was nonetheless, although, a stirring and dramatic bout as every man poured his coronary heart out and needed to overcome severe adversity sooner or later.

“I need to thank everybody who was right here watching since you have been in a position to witness the following chapter within the nice Mexican rivalries,” Navarrete mentioned within the ring afterward. “I need to thank Oscar, as nicely, as a result of he got here out and gave all his coronary heart. We carried out every part that we promised we’d.”

Valdez’ proper eye was a grotesque mess by the midpoint of the struggle and it was so unhealthy throughout the closing three rounds one puzzled why the referee didn’t think about stopping the bout. Valdez was making Navarrete miss, however true to his model, Navarrete was merely a workhorse.

In a struggle at this stage, it’s typically the fighter with the upper join proportion who wins, and Valdez linked on 32 p.c of his blows in comparison with simply 21 p.c for Navarrete. However Navarrete threw an astounding 1,038 punches, 602 greater than Valdez. He linked on 216 pictures, 76 greater than Valdez.

He did it largely with the jab, generally out of plan and sometimes by necessity. His jab tore Valdez aside and saved him in vary for Navarrete to land his proper hand. When the best was so painful that Navarrete went a spherical with out utilizing it, it was the jab that carried him.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 12: Oscar Valdez has his eyes damaged during his WBO junior lightweight championship fight against Emanuel Navarrete, at Desert Diamond Arena on August 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Oscar Valdez reacts after his loss to Emanuel Navarrete on Saturday for the WBO tremendous featherweight title. (Picture by Mikey Williams/High Rank Inc through Getty Photographs)

Valdez merely couldn’t put sufficient collectively to make the ultimate rounds imply one thing. Navarrete was simply outworking him all through. He was good when it was required and tenacious for a lot of the remainder of the bout and it was a recipe for a strong win.

Valdez knew he didn’t win and embraced Navarrete within the heart of the ring as Navarrete was being interviewed by ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna.

“He’s a warrior,” Valdez unhappy in maybe the perfect tribute he may pay his conqueror. “I attempted. I attempted my greatest. We did our greatest and that’s all I can say. I used to be not going to surrender, however I’m sorry to disappoint everybody who got here right here to assist me.”

Navarrete is 38-1 and has gained 34 bouts in a row. Whereas either side tossed across the notion of a rematch, it’s probably not wanted. It was a one-sided bout and Valdez must get again within the fitness center and work on a number of the points that plagued him.

It’s onward and upward for Navarrete, who is only one of 9 Mexican-born boxers to carry main world titles in three or extra weight lessons. The light-weight division is stacked, but when Navarrete decides to maneuver up, he’ll add one other entertaining fighter and bonafide risk there.

No matter he chooses to do, although, he’ll carry a a lot greater status into his subsequent bout given the best way he dealt with an excellent opponent in Valdez.

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