Emanuel Navarrete's first defense of his WBO junior lightweight championship was a successful one, earning a unanimous decision victory over Oscar Valdez before 10,246 fans at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona – including Mexican greats Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Marco Antonio Barrera, and Erik Morales.
Navarrete of San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico (38-1, 31 KOs) used his reach advantage and energetic combination punching to hold off Valdez of Nogales, Mexico (31-2, 23 KOs). Valdez's entire right eye was shut by the fight's end. Navarrete didn't have a mark on him.
Early Lead By Navarrete Holds To the Finish
Navarette, who jumped out to an early lead, was pressed by Valdez in the middle rounds, just as Nevarette was complaining to his corner, he hurt his hand. Valdez closed the gap during the middle rounds, but Nevarette controlled the final three rounds, landing several combinations at will.
Navarrete won by scores of 116-112, 118-110, and 119-109. NY Fights scored the fight 116-112 for Navarrete.
Navarrete held a significant advantage in punches landed on the night. He had a 216-140 edge in total punches landed, including a 176-114 advantage in power shots. In the 12th round, Nevarette landed 34 punches, the most ever by a Valdez opponent.
“I'm happy to have been a part of this card and in this next great chapter of Mexican boxing history,” Navarrete said. “I am happy and appreciate Oscar for the great fight that we delivered.”
Valient Valdez Never Gave In
Valdez fought valiantly against the Navarrete attack, but every time he could land a clean right hand or left hook, Navarrete would come right back with combination punches of his own. He was the far busier person in the fight, throwing 1,038 punches, with Valdez throwing just 436. His constant use of the jab didn't allow Valdez to build any sustainable attack.
“He's a warrior. I tried my best,” Valdez said.
Navarrete downplayed the hand injury after the fight, even though he looked to be in a considerable amount of duress.
“It was a small inflammation on my right hand,” he said. “But the more you hit it, the tougher it gets. But I had to overcome it.”
Delgado Downs Valtierra in Co-Main
In the co-feature, 2016, Mexican Olympian Lindolfo Delgado did his best to kill a loud, enthusiastic crowd with a unanimous decision victory over fellow countryman Jair Valtierra in his first ten-round fight. The bout produced far more boos from the crowd than in-ring highlights.
Delgado (18-0, 13 KOs) used his superior hand speed and footwork to keep Valtierra (16-3, 8 KOs) at bay for the duration of the fight but did little to press the action himself. The judges scored the fight 98-92, 99-91, 99-91. The reading of the scorecards received catcalls from fans who weren't pleased with the glacial pace of the fight.
Torrez Jr. Wastes No Time Delivering KO Win
The televised portion of the card started off with hard-hitting, mustachioed 2020 Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr. of Tulare, California (6-0, 6 KOs) with a first-round stoppage of Willie Jake Jr. of Indianapolis (11-4-2, 3 KOs).
The hard-charging Jake Jr ran straight into a counter right hand. He fell face-first into the canvas. Jake Jr. beat the count, but all it did was subject him to a Torrez Jr. barrage. The series of left hands landed by Torrez Jr. with Jake Jr. against the ropes forced referee Robert Hoyle to halt the action at 1:22.
Emiliano Vargas Stays Undefeated
Highly touted prospect Emiliano Vargas of Las Vegas (6-0, 5 KOs) remained undefeated with a second-round TKO of Jorge Marquez Alvarado of Arlington, Texas (3-6-1, 2 KOs).
After a first round that was just as much wrestling as much as it was boxing, Vargas took control in the second round, dropping Marquez Alvarado with a counter right hand in the beginning of the round. Vargas stalked him for the rest of the fight, scoring another knockdown and the TKO win.
“I kept my composure,” Vargas said. “He was doing everything he could to get into my head, but I knew if I just didn't let him get to me, I'd be ok.”
After the first knockdown, Vargas had some choice words for Marquez Alvarado, who talked trash during the pre-fight buildup. Father/trainer and former world champion Fernando Vargas said with a wink his son told Alvarez, ‘Get up my friend.'
Undercard Results: Mireles, Rodriguez, Ruvalcaba Winners
In a spirited heavyweight clash, unbeaten Antonio Mireles of Des Moines, Iowa (8-0, 7 KOs) scored a sixth-round TKO over 391-pound Dajuan Calloway of Cleveland (7-3, 7 KOs).
Calloway was game, hitting Mireles with hard power shots in the first round. Mireles pulled away with better footwork and combination punching as the fight progressed. Mireles rocked him back with a pair of straight left hands and trapped him in a neutral corner. Mireles' assault forced a referee stoppage at 1:38 of the round.
The second fight of the evening featured two Phoenix fighters, middleweights Sergio Rodriguez (8-0-1, 7 KOs) and Eduardo Ayala (9-4-1, 3 KOs). Rodriguez, who controlled the fight from the opening bell, scored a second-round knockout at 1:02.
Rodriguez scored his first knockdown with an overhand right. Ayala barely beat the count and was on unsteady legs when he got up. Rodriguez knocked him down again with a barrage of punches against the ropes, and Robert Hoyle called off the fight after the second knockdown.
In the opening contest, Ricardo Ruvalcaba of Ventura, California (10-0-1, 9 KOs) remained undefeated with a second-round stoppage over Adrian Orban of Budapest, Hungary (6-5, 4 KOs). Ruvalcaba scored three knockdowns in the fight. After two body shot knockdowns in round two, the bout was halted at 1:11 of round two.