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Emanuel Navarrete Retains By TKO Against Diaz

Top Rank Confirms Emanuel Navarrete vs. Oscar Valdez For August

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Emanuel Navarrete Retains By TKO Against Diaz

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Emanuel Navarrete Retains By TKO Against Diaz

WBO Featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete showed once again why he’s a champ that more and more fans want to see outpunching Christopher Diaz to retain his title by 12th round TKO. This to close out the Top Rank Boxing broadcast Saturday night that aired on ESPN.

The official time of the stoppage was 2:49 in the twelfth and final round of a fight that was a systematic breakdown of Diaz.

The main event from Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida featured Navarrete, now 34-1, 29 KOs, who was the huge favorite going into the contest. The veteran Diaz was making his second time challenging for the world title after coming up short in an effort against Masayuki Ito for the Jr. Lightweight title back in 2018.

Once the bell rang, the socially distant, pro-Puerto Rico crowd of 3,262 was behind Diaz. In the ring, however, started a feeling out round that the crowd was really embracing. The fans were settling in after they just watched Edgar Berlanga remain unbeaten and knockdown Demond Nicholson four times in a decision win beforehand.

It was more of the same in the second round of Navarette-Diaz, as well.

The action picked up a little in the third as Navarrete began throwing, especially left uppercuts, from distance and kept on firing against Diaz who spent most of the third on the defensive. Diaz began starting to throw back when both stood toe to toe, but it was apparent that Navarrete was going to be the aggressor, throwing from various angles.

Diaz was caught in the fourth round by Navarrete in the closing moments with a nasty uppercut that sent him down. He beat the count to end the round but from here it looked like he wasn’t going to have much of an answer back for Navarrete. After a solid fifth round which Diaz looked to have outworked Navarrete, the sixth was when Diaz looked to have found some success by attacking the body. That awoke the crowd looking for anything to root Diaz on with.

Diaz had a point deduction taken away in the seventh round for a low blow that on replay didn’t look bad and not in front of the pro-Diaz crowd as well.

Once the eighth started, Diaz was sent down for the second time in the fight. He got up, but was immediately dropped again with a wicked body shot in the final moments of the round. It was at this point of the fight, where any hope for Diaz making a comeback made their way to the parking lot to beat traffic.

Navarrete, known as Vaquero (“Cowboy”), had a moment of concern, when he fell to close out the ninth round. It appeared he might have tweaked his left knee ,which had a sleeve on it for protection.

From that point on, he wasn’t the same attacker which we saw earlier in the fight until the 12th. The championship rounds played out with a slower pace partly because of this, and Diaz unable to get anything going until the final round.

That final round saw Diaz knowing he was behind, press the issue to Navarrete, who just didn’t have the same bounce earlier in the fight. Despite this last rush, Diaz was knocked down again in the final round from a barrage of Navarette punches and the referee had seen enough to halt the bout.

This was as an impressive win for Navarrete, as he defended his WBO 126 lb. title for the second time. It’s also his 29th consecutive win with 26 kayos during that stretch. Navarette is now 7-0 with 6 wins by KO or stoppage in championship fights dating back to 2018.

We’ll see what is next for him and his awkward, hard punching style at 126.

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Marquis Johns is a unknown humorist and avid boxing fan. His love for the sweet science goes back to when matches were 15 rounds and has been covering fights since closed-circuit pay-per-views. Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth is not only a quote by Mike Tyson, it's also a pretty good reminder to keep your guard up.

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