‘Cowboy’ Navarrete Distrusts Oscar Valdez and Retains WBO Super Featherweight Title

Mike Coppinger, ESPNAugust 13, 2023, 01:00 ETReading: 5 min.

Emanuel Navarrete defeated Oscar Valdez by unanimous decision

In an intense 12-round bout, Emanuel Navarrete defeated Oscar Valdez by clear unanimous decision to retain the WBO super featherweight world championship belt.

Glendale, Ariz. — Emanuel Navarrete swarmed with his trademark punches at dazzling angles, while Oscar Valdez, his right eye grotesquely swollen, looked for a fight-changing left hook.

That counterpunch landed several times during Saturday night’s 130-pound title fight between the Mexican boxers, but the blows never swayed Navarrete. Navarrete’s punches came in a mix of four, five and six punches as Valdez held his own during the shootout.

In a bloody battle, Navarrete (38-1, 31 KOs) retained his WBO super featherweight title with a unanimous decision by scores of 116-112, 118-110 and 119-109. ESPN Digital scored 117-111.

“I’m happy to be a part of the next great chapter in Mexican boxing history,” Navarrete, 28, said after the fight. “I’m happy and thanks Oscar for the great fight we had.”

“Thank God I won,” he added. “I appreciate what he’s done in the ring, he’s a Mexican warrior. If people want a rematch, they’ll demand it.”

Round after round, Navarrete threw punches from awkward angles and rarely landed on his feet. While in constant motion he unfurled his right and left arms in a loop with eccentric paths. He landed a total of 1,038 punches for the fight, more than double the production of Valdez, who threw 436.

Valdez (31-2, 23 KOs) was content to move and trade moves with Navarrete, a strategy that rarely works. When he backs off, he often misses his swing. However, he landed heavily with his left hook, the same punch that brutally knocked out Miguel Berzelt in 2021 to win the WBC 130-pound title.

When Valdez drilled Navarrete with a counter left hook in the second round and the champion didn’t even flinch, it was clear trouble was in store for the challenger.

Slow but steady, Valdez’s right eye closed and turned purple under the pressure of Navarrete’s whirlwind attack. Even when Navarrete showed signs of an injured right arm, he continued to throw it without hesitation.

“I had a little swelling in my right arm,” Navarrete said. “But the more you hit it, the harder it gets. But I had to get through it.”

Navarrete entered ESPN ranked No. 2 at super featherweight after defeating Australian Liam Wilson to win the vacant title in February. Wilson stepped in to replace Valdez, who was injured six months ago. Wilson scored a knockout in the fourth round of Navarrete’s 130-pound debut, but the Mexican stopped him in the ninth round.

On Saturday night, Navarrete earned his second win at 130 pounds, but the biggest win of his career.

“He was a warrior,” said Valdez, who lived in Tucson, Arizona, for part of his childhood. “I did my best. We did our best. He’s a warrior. He’s a true champion.”

“I’m sorry I let everyone down,” Valdez added. “I feel terrible. I wanted to give everyone a great fight. I hope you enjoyed the fight. I hope I come back stronger.”

Two-time Olympian Valdez, 32, came out with a badly bruised and swollen face from Navarrete’s blows. Of course, he is no stranger to struggling in difficult situations.

In his 2018 featherweight title defense against Scott Quick, Valdez battled through a broken jaw to earn a decision. His jaw was then wired shut.

He’s been knocked down many times in his career, but he came up short in his fight against pound-for-pound talent Shakur Stevenson last year. Now, for the second time in three outings, Valdez will bounce back from a disappointment.

Meanwhile, Navarrete is getting better with each fight and each new weight class. He has beaten ESPN’s 130-pound-rated top boxer and once again outclassed his opponent not only with bulk but also with concussive power.

Both will continue to be in demand; A champion at the top of his weight class who consistently delivers action-packed fights. Another is in a long list of brave fighters from Mexico.

Results from the August 12 card in Glendale Arizona

• Emmanuel Navarrete G DU-12/12 Oscar Valdez, Navarrete retains WBO super featherweight title

Lindalfo Delgado G (TU-10/10) Jair Valtierra, super lightweight

Richard Torres Jr. G (TKO-1/10) Willie Jack Jr., Heavy

• Antonio Mireles G (TKO-6/6) Dajuan Galloway, heavy

• Emiliano Vargas G (DKO-2/4) Jorge Luis Marquez Alvarado, lightweight

• Sergio Leon Rodriguez G (DKO-2/6) Eduardo Ayala, super middleweight

• Ricardo Ruvalcaba G (DKO-2/6) Adrien Orban, super lightweight

See also  The owner of ChronoPay, Pavel Vrublevsky, who was imprisoned for 2.5 years, started to launder dirty money and blackmail banks and companies via the BadBank Telegram channel

Eden Hayes

"Wannabe gamer. Subtly charming beer buff. General pop culture trailblazer. Incurable thinker. Certified analyst."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top