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"Old School" Emanuel Navarette returns to the ring

Emanuel Navarette reminds me of the fighters I grew up watching.  

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Navarrete vs Diaz
Navarrete vs Diaz

Emanuel Navarette reminds me of the fighters I grew up watching.

 

They, like Navarette, fought a lot. The WBO featherweight champion returns to the ring this Saturday night against Christopher Diaz in Kissimmee, Florida.

 

Navarrete was barely 17 when he debuted as a professional in 2012. Fighting in his native Mexico, Navarette won six of seven bouts. His loss, by decision to Daniel Argurta, is the only blemish on his record. His promising career slowed for a while before kicking into gear.


In a span of 20 months, Navarette, still fighting exclusively out of Mexico, engaged in 16 fights, winning 14 by knockout. The right people noticed. Navarette signed to fight WBO super bantamweight champion, Issac Dogboe, on December 8, 2018, in New York City.

Dogboe captured the WBO belt by stopping Jessie Magdeleno in an exciting contest. He was on a roll, having successfully defending his title by blowing out Hidenori Otake in the opening stanza. Most figured he had too much game for the gangly Navarette. Most figured wrong.

Throwing punches in bunches, Navarette overwhelmed Dogboe in the early rounds. The defending champion rallied late, but Navarette took the title by unanimous decision. The fight was so exciting, WBO ordered a rematch.

 

Dogboe said after his first fight with Navarette that he didn’t train correctly, or take Navarrete’s challenge seriously.

Navarette replied matter-of-factly to Anson Wainwright of ringtv.com.

“I am better than him and on May 11 (2019) I will return to win. There are no pretexts, [I hope] Dogboe trains good because I will go for the knockout.”

Navarrete proved to be quite the prophet, stopping Dogboe in round 12 to retain his WBO junior featherweight title at the Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona. Navarrete took control immediately in the rematch. He utilized his huge advantages in height (five inches) and reach (eight inches).

 

He stuck his jab in Dogboe’s face consistently. Dogboe rushed after him, firing hooks, but was short with most of them. Navarrete clocked Dogboe with a hard combination at the bell.

The die was cast. In round two, Navarrete staggered Dogboe.


Dogboe, with the heart of a lion, charged out in round three. Navarrete stayed calm, firing lefts and rights. He dug to the body. Two more uppercuts connected. Dogboe’s right eye swelled. He wobbled into the ropes and hung on.

 

Navarrete worked the body. He switched to southpaw and landed a long right. Dobue landed a left hook that had no effect on Navarrete-who boxed and strafed Dogboe with a combination. Navarrete connected with a couple of combinations in round six. Dogboe was shaky, but still fighting. A left sent Dogboe into the ropes in what was called a knockdown. Seconds later, a clubbing left hurt Dogboe.

 

Dogboe took more punishment in rounds seven and eight. He was fighting on guts and instinct. Navarrete dug more shots to the belly. A combination badly hurt Dogboe. Navarrete kept working and landing. Dogboe, with a heart bigger than his body, was taking too many punches.

 

Navarrete tried to put Dogboe out of his misery in round nine. He connected with a right from his corner. Somehow Dogboe took it. Navarrete attacked with hooks. A straight right knocked Dogboe sideways. He staggered to his corner. At this point, the fight should have been stopped, but Dogboe’s corner (his father) sent him out for round 10.

 

Dogboe found his shaky legs to stay out of the range. Round 11 saw Navarrete doling out more punishment. Dogboe was still trying, but he’d miss a punch and stagger like a zombie. In the 12th and final round, the courageous Dogboe tried to force the action. Bad idea. Navarrete clubbed him with a short hook. Dogboe staggered again-Navarrete pounced and fired a right and left that floored Dogboe. Somehow, he beat the count, but his corner finally threw in the towel.


After defeating Dogboe a second time, Navarrete made three more title defenses. His victories were all by knockout. The worldwide pandemic reduced Navarette to three fights in 2020. He gave up his title to move up a weight division and face crafty Rueben Villa in Las Vegas for the WBO featherweight title. The fight was competitive. Two knockdowns by Navarette made the difference.


Navarette will be making the first defense of his newly-won title against Diaz. He should win. Diaz is a good fighter, but not good enough to defeat Navarette.


As always, expect to hear Navarette will be returning to the ring sooner rather than later.

 

He’s a throwback.

 

 

 

 

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