It was a great night of boxing for Top Rank, as they were able to highlight both upcoming stars and familiar names in what was a thriller of a night of fights.
Starting with the main event, which was one of the most hard-hitting fights that has been seen Emanuel Navarrete became a three-division world champion with a nine-round technical knockout victory against Liam Wilson.
Navarrete joins a list of great Mexican boxers who have been able to capture titles in three weight classes. The list includes Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr., Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez.
It was a memorable main event that featured some great punches and counter punches, as Navarrette was able to catch Wilson square in the jaw on several occasions. Wilson, who was fighting in the U.S. for the first time was also able to knock Navarrete onto the canvass a few times as well.
Eventually Navarrete was able to stay in the bout, fought back and was able to start a barrage to the body that weakened Wilson enough to earn the victory.
“I’m made of a lot of work, strength, lots of heart, and the Mexican spirit that never lets me down,” Navarrete said. “Liam is a warrior. He was able to land a shot that stunned me a lot. Obviously, we tried to take things calmly. Fortunately, we were able to recover our calmness. We went out to recover a bit. We returned to 100%. And we began to engage.”
“The satisfaction of winning like this is enormous. I think that I needed this test in order to be able to say my career is more complete. Now that I know that I can hit the canvas and get back up and keep fighting, I’m more than happy because I know that I can continue forward.”
“Tonight, I came up a bit short, and I’m disappointed,” Wilson said. “But I knocked him down in the fourth round, and I felt that the count was a bit long. We’ll have to review it and see what people think. He’s a true champion, though. I thought I won the fight in that sense because I think it was about a 20-second count. I’ll review it and see what happens there.”
“I want to come back. I’m a true champion. This is my 12th fight, but no excuses. I love to fight, and I love challenges. I’d fight any other champion any day of the week. He’s a tough champion. With all due respect to him, he’s very awkward. But this is boxing, and stuff happens. All credit to him. I hope he goes on to do great things. I’ll be back. Make no mistake about it.”
In other action
Arnold Barboza Jr (28-0, 10 KOs) was able to defend his WBO Intercontinental junior welterweight title with a unanimous decision over former two-division world champ Jose Pedraza (29-5-1, 14 KOs) .
“I was making the fight easy for the first five or six rounds, but I wanted to stay in there and start brawling. Pedraza is a tough guy. All training camp we were working against southpaws, but he did a good job of switching to southpaw in the middle of the fight. It’s hard fighting a guy like him with a lot of experience,” Barboza said. “I think I’ve paid my dues. I want a title shot. I want Regis Prograis, Alberto Puello, or the winner of the IBF title or the WBO title. If I can’t get them, everyone knows who I want: Teofimo Lopez.”
Richard Torrez Jr (5-0, 5 KOs) was able to remain undefeated with a first-round TKO over James Bryant (6-3, 4 KOs). Torrez was able to be aggressive showing feints and head movements to be able to earn the victory.
Eventually Torrez Jr was able to land an uppercut that ended the round and extend his unbeaten streak.
“When you land a punch like that, it almost feels like there’s no glove there. It just feels like a solid shot from your knuckle to his head. And that’s when you know you hurt the guy,” Torrez said. “I thought he was in the recovery state because he had a minute left, but if the fight were to continue, I would have applied pressure. I started off the first round a little slower than usual, but I did that on purpose. I wanted to set my distance and my jab and feints. And luckily that uppercut landed and there was more to come.”
Andres Cortes (19-0, 10 KOs) was able to outbox Luis Melendez (17-3, 13 KOs), as he was able to use his superior ring IQ to dominate.
Nico Ali Walsh (8-0, 5 KOs) had a six-round decision over Eduardo Ayala (9-3-1, 3 KOs). It was a back-and-forth bout as the duo was able to go the distance in a thriller.
Ali Walsh said, “He was a big guy, and I wanted to show that I could muscle him around on the inside. Ayala was the hometown favorite. That was a new experience for me, but it was a valuable one.”
Lindolfo Delgado (17-0, 13 KOs), was able to remain undefeated with a victory over Clarence Booth (21-7, 13 KOs) in what was an eight-round bout. Delgado was able to get the knockdown in the final round thanks to a right hand to the jaw.
Emiliano Fernando Vargas (3-0, 2 KOs) was able to go the distance for the first time by scoring a four-round win over Francisco Duque (1-2).
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