Emanuel Navarrete successfully defended his WBO junior lightweight title against Oscar Valdez. Navarrete won by unanimous decision, leaving Valdez with a severe eye injury.
On August 12, at the Diamond Desert Arena in Glendale, Arizona, Emanuel Navarrete faced former super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez. The intense battle lasted 12 rounds, with both boxers exchanging blows.
From the first round, action was non-stop. It was a fierce duel with moments for both boxers. Despite Valdez’s efforts, Navarrete displayed dominance.
Navarrete showed strength from the start, maintaining his pace and composure. Valdez improved in later rounds but fell short. Navarrete’s victory was declared through unanimous decision, with judges scoring 116-112, 118-110, and 119-109.
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During the 12 rounds, Navarrete landed 1038 punches, highlighting his determination despite a minor right-hand injury in the middle rounds. He temporarily slowed due to the injury but withstood Valdez’s pressure.
This win marked Navarrete’s first WBO junior lightweight title defense, earned in February against Liam Wilson. ‘Vaquero’ extended his record to 38 wins and 1 loss, currently holding a 32-win streak.
Meanwhile, Oscar Valdez faced his second loss in his boxing career, his previous loss being against Shakur Stevenson in October last year. Putting his WBC super featherweight title on the line for the WBO and vacant The Ring super featherweight titles, Valdez was defeated by unanimous decision.
Aside from the defeat, Valdez endured a serious right-eye injury, resulting in significant swelling and closure of his eyelid. Despite this, Valdez expressed respect for Navarrete. In an interview after the bout, he praised his opponent as a true champion, stating, “He’s a warrior, you know. I tried my best… we gave our best, that’s all I can say. You’re a warrior, my congratulations, you are a true champion.”
Valdez isn’t the first to have a major eye problem due to boxing, previously we’ve reported on Yordenis Ugas having to undergo a surgery for a similar issue.