Emanuel Navarrete Snags KO Victory in Mexico City
Top Rank has been first out of the gate with fights and they've showcased them during the week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
This evening was the first event Top Rank has done on a Saturday night in quite some time and it was their sixth event in three weeks.
The card was live from the TV Azteca Studios in Mexico City, MX, and screened on ESPN. The ant-virus protocols would resemble the ones that were in place at the MGM “Bubble” in Las Vegas, NV.
The main event featured WBO super bantamweight Champion Emanuel Navarrete (31-1) going up against Uriel Lopez (13-13-1) in a non-title bout, which would be held five pounds north of the super bantamweight limit.
Here is how the evening’s bouts unfolded live on ESPN:
Main Event: Emanuel Navarrete vs. Uriel Lopez
In the first round, Navarrete started off slow as usual with a pawing jab and moving around in order to figure out the spacing. While he was doing that, Lopez was trying to steal rounds by throwing some good left hooks in order to make his way inside. The second round was more of the same but in the third round, the Navarrete we are all used to seeing suddenly appeared as he started landing hard left hooks to the body and mixing it up with that right uppercut. In the fourth round, Navarette continued to go downstairs and break down Lopez, who started to feel the effects of the shots.
In the fifth round, Navarette landed a hard body shot sending Lopez to the canvas for the first knockdown of the fight. In the sixth round, it was a right hook to the body that knocked down Lopez again but this time the referee saw enough and called a halt to the battle. Emanuel Navarrete won by sixth round knockout and he now gives fighters in the featherweight division something to think about, if he decides to make that his new home.
Said Navarrete: “I have the utmost respect for Uriel Lopez. He put forth a courageous effort, but I was coming to win by knockout. I want to unify titles, but if nobody accepts my challenge, I'll move up to featherweight.”
Carlos Ornelas (25-2) vs. Edwin Palomares (12-3-1)
Ornelas started out the fight in control by landing some good straight lefts while Palomares countered with a straight right hand. In the second, it became a phone booth type of fight and Palomares was bringing the pressure to Ornelas. Palomares (landing, below) was focused on the body from rounds two through four which saw Ornelas slowing down and getting beat up.
In the fifth, Palomares continued to the body and Ornelas finally took a knee as he was hurt from the cumulation of body shots. Ornelas’ corner jumped onto the apron calling for the end of the fight. Edwin Palomares won by fifth round knockout.
Sergio Sanchez (14-1) vs. Gustavo Alan Pina (8-2)
This fight should have been the opener as leather was flying from the beginning of round one. Sanchez being the counter puncher, caught Pina in the first round with a big left hook that sent him to the canvas for the first knockdown of the fight. The second round saw both men landing big shots but in the third, Sanchez caught Pina with a left hook/uppercut that knocked out Pina cold. Sergio Sanchez won by knockout with only six seconds into the third round.
Ivan Armando Garcia (5-0) vs. Roberto Palomares (5-4-1)
This was the opening fight of the evening and the most interesting thing that occurred in this one was that in the middle of the fight, it went from an eight rounder to a six. Both men are true club fighters who still have a ways to go before getting in with real competition. Garcia was throwing wide, looping shots while Palomares was landing short left uppercuts. In the end, the judges saw this one 59-55, 59-55 and 59-56 for the winner Ivan Armando Garcia.
Tonight’s card, which was promoted by Top Rank and Zanfer Promotions, brought the type of fights you want to see on a Saturday night. Emanuel Navarrete has been one of the busiest champions out there and has made everyone pay attention when he is on a fight card. There are some big fights ahead for him at Super Bantamweight while he can still make the weight but a move to featherweight seems inevitable in 2021.
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