Emanuel Navarrete retained his WBO junior lightweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision win tonight over Oscar Valdez.
It was a fight that lived up to whatever hype anyone had for it, as Navarrete fought through a pretty clearly and badly damaged right hand in the second half of the bout, while Valdez had his right eye beaten shut but never gave up on the bout.
Scores were 116-112, 118-110, and 119-109 for Navarrete; the latter two may have been a bit wide for many people, but you could also probably argue it that way, was Navarrete was just a lot of constant work, and that may have nicked him the rounds others gave Valdez here and there.
Bad Left Hook unofficially scored it 116-112 and 116-112 on two separate score cards, not the exact same rounds, but the same end score. ESPN’s Mark Kriegel had it the same.
Navarrete (38-1, 31 KO) and Valdez (31-2, 23 KO) put it all on the line in this one, in short, and had a “Mexican-style” war to remember in front of a crowd that ate it up all the way.
“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.”
Valdez then came over and told Navarrete he is a “true champion,” a compliment returned from Navarrete, who gave Oscar his trademark cowboy hat.
“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.”
He did say he hopes to get a rematch.
Navarrete vs Valdez highlights
We go ringside at the midway point pic.twitter.com/mA4gFJoJF7— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) August 13, 2023
Valdez connects on his biggest shot so far pic.twitter.com/yI5uqkksIP— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) August 13, 2023
Enoy the final ten seconds of the Battle of Mexico pic.twitter.com/axbKpGHym9— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) August 13, 2023
Undercard highlights and results
- Lindolfo Delgado UD-10 Jair Valtierra (98-92, 99-91, 99-91): It was originally meant to be a prelims fight, and boy did it feel like a prelims fight, and boy did the crowd let them know it felt like a prelims fight. Valtierra (16-3, 8 KO) had a couple rounds where he out-worked Delgado (18-0, 13 KO), but then Delgado started doing anything and took over for the rest of the fight. The crowd did not enjoy the fight.
- Richard Torrez Jr TKO-1 Willie Jake Jr (1:22): Can he fight someone approaching being a warm body yet? He’s 24 years old, an Olympic silver medalist, he’s clearly miles beyond this scrub parade they’ve had him fighting. Nobody reasonable is asking for a contender, but maybe someone who won’t be 100 percent beaten on their way to the ring?