Penchanga Arena; San Diego, CA:
In the world of boxing, at least on paper; there’s only one thing better than two Mexican fighters throwing down. That’s a Mexican versus a Mexican-American. And the result of that mix leading into another massive combat sports weekend was Navarrete breaks Joet’s face.
And when you think about it, in a hard fought, back-and-forth battle it shouldn’t end in a finish. Both warriors deserve to be standing to the applauds of the fans, and hear the final judgement from ringside. And after this high paced war Emanuel Navarrete Vaquero took all three scorecards (118-110, 116-112 2x) over Joet Gonzalez. Post fight, with his right eye badly swollen, and multiple cuts; Gonzalez said he felt he won the fight 7-5/ 8-4. He did in fact have Navarrete wobbled a couple of times. But not enough to win the fight.
In the aftermath of the fight, through his interpreter the champion said:
“I think the difference was the conditioning. It was a very close fight, but I think the conditioning was like the difference between him and me. Without a doubt I hurt him, but every single time he came back and hurt me. A couple of shots he landed hurt me during the fight. It has been an exciting ride so far and from now on I want the bigger fights”.
He then went on to say, he’d gladly give Gonzalez a rematch if demanded. But it’s clear reading between the lines, he wants more gold, sooner rather than later. And after the output the two had in this one, you have to wonder what happens if they run it back. Navarrete out landed Gonzalez 272-169. The duo combined to throw more than 1600 punches (Navarrete 979, Gonzalez 667). The 26-year old Champion, is 9-0 in title fights (with 6 KO’s). And Gonzalez is now 0-2 in title fights.
Navarrete Breaks Joet’s Face; The Highlights And What’s Next
The last and the only time Navarrete tasted defeat was back in 2012. If the sport wasn’t seriously loaded right now, he’d have a lock in the Top-10 Pound-For-Pound list. So is there a possibility of a unification at 126-pounds? Maybe. It’s a good thing when a title holder gets seriously challenged. And that’s what happened here a couple of times.
However, the other four champions at featherweight are no easy outs. Despite the output numbers Navarrete can throw. Leo Santa Cruz may too big, Gary Russell Jr. may be too slick, and Kid Galahad is just a seriously hard-nosed workman like fighter that has more power than Gonzalez. What does give Navarrete an advantage is his punches in bunches, from every angle attack.
Gonzalez losing to Shakur Stevenson and now here; is still a grinder that comes forward like a zombie. And here he wasn’t completely “dirty”, however there was a fair number of borderline tactics being used. And some may have jumped over that line. He just needs some retooling, nothing at all major. Just the minor stuff. And with a broken orbital bone, a long rest.