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Emanuel Navarrete vs Joet Gonzalez preview and predictions

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Emanuel Navarrete defends his featherweight title against Joet Gonzalez on Friday. Who wins?

Scott Christ

This is a much better matchup for Gonzalez than Shakur Stevenson was, but it’s still not a great matchup for Gonzalez. I just don’t think he can beat Navarrete, but I’ve been wronger about things. The problem is that even when Navarrete gets hit, he takes it well, and he gives back more in return, using his long reach effectively and doing consistent damage throughout fights. Gonzalez is best when he’s able to pressure, and he’ll absolutely have to do that to win this fight or even have a chance. The problem then becomes that Navarrete is still a really good fighter in the pocket.

I think we’re going to get a damn good fight here, but I don’t know how competitive it’s going to seem after four or five rounds. Navarrete TKO-11

Wil Esco

With as much as I respect Joet Gonzalez for being a professional fighter in an unforgiving sport, I’m just having a hard time seeing how he’s going to take a win in this fight. I mean, hey, if he couldn’t even get up for his fight against Shakur Stevenson in a genuine bad blood matchup, I just don’t think he’s got what it takes to compete at the upper levels of the sport. Make no mistake, I’m not taking away from Stevenson’s gifted talents which were clearly too much for Gonzalez to handle, but if there was a fight Gonzalez really wanted to win, that was it, and he got completely washed.

As for Navarrete, he’s a legitimate world titleholder who isn’t as slick as Stevenson but still a very well rounded fighter overall and just a class above Gonzalez. I don’t expect this fight to be as nearly one-sided as it was when Gonzalez fought Stevenson, but I think he still loses a clear decision over the distance. Navarrete UD-12

Patrick L. Stumberg

Generally speaking, trying to pressure Emanuel Navarrete isn’t a bad plan; he’s at his best when he can dictate the pace, stay mobile, and abuse those freakishly long limbs of his. Someone with Gonzalez’s dedication to forward movement and nasty infighting is ostensibly the right man for the job. It’s the execution that figures to sink him, much as it did against Shakur Stevenson. While he’s got a solid jab, he hasn’t gotten over his tendency to just weather incoming fire with a high guard and wait his turn before firing back. That’s all well and good against guys like Miguel Marriaga, who eventually wilt, but giving an offensive monster like Navarrete free reign to let his offense go is a death sentence.

Gonzalez has the tools to win a phone booth fight, but not the tools to force one against a rangier, more versatile slugger. Navarrate’s offbeat combinations, excellent motor, and raw firepower carry him to a comfortable decision as Gonzalez tries to wait out an unceasing storm. Navarrete UD-12

And the staff winner is...

Emanuel Navarrete v Christopher Diaz Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Emanuel Navarrete (3-0)!