Update - Emanuel Navarrete defeated Oscar Valdez by unanimous decision (116-112, 118-110, 119-109) to retain the WBO junior lightweight title.
Two of the top Mexican stars in boxing will go head-to-head when Emanuel Navarrete (37-1, 31 KOs) defends his WBO junior lightweight title against Oscar Valdez (31-1, 23 KOs) on Saturday, August 12 from the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
Navarrete, the 28-year-old champion from San Juan Zitlatepec, Mexico has had world championships in three different weight classes. He had four successful defenses of the WBO featherweight title before moving up in weight. In his first fight at junior lightweight, Navarrete knocked out Liam Wilson in the ninth round to claim the WBO junior lightweight title. Navarrette is ranked as the second-best super featherweight in the world and a top 10 pound-for-pound boxer. His only loss came early in his career against Daniel Argueta, who came in overweight. Navarrete has won 32 consecutive fights and has an 81.6 percent knockout rate.
Valdez, 32, is making his debut at junior lightweight after suffering a unanimous decision loss to Shakur Stevenson for the unified super featherweight titles. Despite the loss to Stevenson, Valdez is still considered among the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world and is ranked No. 1 in junior lightweight according to Ring Magazine. Valdez, from Nogales, Mexico, had his best stretch as the WBO featherweight champion, where he made six title defenses. He recovered from his loss to Stevenson with a unanimous decision win over Adam Lopez on May 20. Valdez has a 74.2 knockout percentage.
Valdez comes into the bout as the favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. He is a -165 favorite while Navarrete is a +135 underdog.
Emanuel Navarrete vs. Oscar Valdez round-by-round results
Round 1: Navarrete
Navarrete came out swinging to start the bout. Both boxers landed powerful shots, but Naverrete’s reach and quick hands controlled the first round.
Round 2: Navarrete
This was an extremely close round. Both fighters, again, exchanged blows throughout the round. A flurry of action at the end of the round might’ve sealed it for Navarrete, but it’s a toss-up.
Round 3: Navarrete
Navarrete controlled the round with his power and pressure. He’s clearly the superior fighter so far.
Round 4: Navarrete
Valdez is struggling to get past Navrrete’s reach, but when he does he lands some powerful shots. Unfortunately for him, he’s eating a lot more punches.
Round 5: Valdez
This was another close round for the two fighters. Navarrete landed plenty of punches but he’s starting to tire and get a little more reckless while Valdez is picking his spots and hitting some power punches while focusing on the body.
Round 6: Valdez
While Valdez sustained a cut under his eye, he’s starting to land some powerful left hooks — including one that staggered Navarrete. Again, it was another close round that could go either way.
Round 7: Navarrete
Navarrete is throwing (and landing) so many more punches than Valdez. This was probably the slowest round in the fight.
Round 8: Valdez
Valdez has effectively turned into a counterpuncher for the fight, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He’s been able to be pretty effective with counters.
Round 9: Valdez
Navarrete was staggered by a Valdez left and he apparently hurt his right hand. It’s going to be a tough go for the rest of the fight for Navarrete.
Round 10: Navarrete
Navarrete put on the full-court press in the beginning of the round, spamming punches to keep the distance advantage. Valdez landed some big counters but his eye is getting worse.
Round 11: Navarrete
These two fighters are going at each other. Navarrete, again, spammed punches and just kept busy enough to win the round. Valdez will need a knockout to win.
Round 12: Navarrete
Navarrete doesn’t have a scratch on him while Valdez’s eye is completely closed. A great fight, but Navarrete just landed too many punches and controlled the pace.