Emanuel ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete defended his WBO featherweight title with a twelfth round TKO over Chris ‘Smurf’ Diaz, in the main event on the Top Rank undercard on Saturday night.
Known for his relentless style, the Mexican (34-1, 29 KOs) dropped Diaz four times, but it was the last with only seconds remaining in the final round that marked the end.
Diaz, from Puerto Rico (26-3, 16 KOs), was a very strong opponent, particularly as he left it all in the ring, but ultimately Navarrete’s power was too much when he attacked him with a combination. Diaz appeared to beat the count with about 15 seconds remaining in the fight, but his corner and the referee stopped the fight as it was clear that he had been injured.
Navarrete consistently landed his uppercut, but his best weapon Saturday night was a power hook attack that landed in combination and left Diaz battered.
Navarrete landed 257 of 744 hits (34.5%), and 241 of those who landed were power contacts.
It was Navarrete’s second title defense. The focus is now on whether he will remain at featherweight or move up to the junior lightweight division, where there are several contenders under Top Rank’s dominance who could make big fights, including the rising star. Shakur Stevenson.
The fight took place in front of 3,262 perfectly distanced and sold-out fans at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida. It was Top Rank’s second boxing card with fans since the pandemic began.
The super middleweight prospect and knockout artist Edgar berlanga He fought past the first round for the first time in his 17-fight pro career in Saturday night’s co-feature. Achieved an easy unanimous decision victory over Demond Nicholson in a fight in which he had four knockdowns, including the most impressive in the closing seconds of the final round.