Óscar Valdez (31-2, 23 KOs) and Emanuel Navarrete (38-1, 31 KOs) finally clashed against each other at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, USA. Their bout had Navarrete’s WBO super featherweight title on the line. Navarrete successfully defended his belt via unanimous decision with scores of 116-112, 118-110, and 119-109. Big Fight Weekend scored the contest 116-112 for Navarrete.
Both men were to face each other in February this year. However, the fight was postponed due to an injury to Valdez. Navarrete wound up defeating Liam Wilson in an entertaining clash instead. On the other hand, Valdez faced Adam Lopez for a second time on the Devin Haney-Vasyl Lomachenko undercard, winning via unanimous decision.
Enoy the final ten seconds of the Battle of Mexico 👏 pic.twitter.com/axbKpGHym9
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) August 13, 2023
Navarrete-Valdez full fight recap
The fight began with both men throwing with bad intentions. Towards the end of the opening round, Navarrete landed a series of punches that appeared to momentarily wobble Valdez, who proceeded to fall back to the ropes, but recovered. In this round, Navarrete threw at a higher volume. Using his reach, he was able to prevent Valdez from landing anything particularly damaging, something that continued into round two.
Throughout the early and middle rounds, Valdez had his moments of success, but nothing appeared to dent Navarrete. Swelling became visible underneath Valdez’s eye at the end of the fifth. Navarrete continued to use his reach to land a variety of shots, particularly uppercuts and jabs, from range. Neither man showed signs of slowing down during this period of the fight.
As the clash entered the championship rounds, Navarrete’s right hand was not as emphatic as it was earlier. During the course of the bout, Navarrete damaged his right hand. Despite this, the championship rounds were the most brutal rounds of the night. Although the swelling under Valdez’s eye got worse with each passing round, he continued to throw in hopes of landing a blow that would drop Navarrate. Both men continued to trade until the very end as the crowd rose to their feet to applaud what they had just seen. In the end, it was Navarrate who emerged victorious and earned the decision on the scorecards.
“You were able to witness the next chapter in the great Mexican rivalries,” Navarrete said. “I want to thank Oscar Valdez as well, because he came out here and gave all his heart. We delivered everything we promised we would.”
Asked if there will be a rematch, Navarrete replied, “I’m going to leave it in the hands of the fans. They’re the best judges, and if they want to see this fight again, they’re going to get online and push for it.”
“He’s just a warrior. I tried my best. We gave it our best is all I can say,” Valdez said. “I’m sorry I disappointed everybody who came here to support me. I feel terrible.”
Opening the main card on ESPN was a heavyweight clash between Richard Torrez Jr. (6-0, 6 KOs) and Willie Jake Jr. (11-4-2, 3 KOs). Torrez won the bout without much difficulty via a first round knockout. Jake was caught by a counter right hand and immediately fell to the campus. He got up, but was unable to withstand the barrage of punches that came from Torrez. Shortly after the first knockdown, the referee stepped in to wave off the fight.
Just prior to the main event was another all-Mexican clash between Lindolfo Delgado (18-0, 13 KOs) and Jair Valtierra (16-3, 8 KOs, 1 NC). Originally, Raymond Muratalla (18-0, 15 KOs) and Diego Torres (17-0, 16 KOs) were set to face each other. Due to a Muratalla injury, the fight was removed from the show and replaced with Delgado-Valtierra, which had originally been set for the preliminary portion of the card. Delgado emerged victorious via a unanimous decision in which the judges saw him winning the 10-rounder 99-91 (x2) and 98-92. The fight was a frustrating affair and the audience voiced their displeasure throughout the bout.
Both men stuggled to find their range and land cleanly. Delgado thought he knocked down Valtierra in the final round. However, the referee ruled it a slip. In the end, the judges saw Delgado do the cleaner work and awarded him the victory.