Emanuel Navarrete Retains WBO Title In Cold-Blooded Featherweight Clash Vs. Joet Gonzalez
Emanuel Navarrete walked out of the ring as a winner Friday night, but Joet Gonzalez didn’t let him get there so easily.
Navarrete (35-1, 29 KOs) defended his WBO featherweight title against Gonzalez (24-2, 14 KOs) in a brutal “slugfest” as some viewers labeled it. Navarrete, despite swelling up Gonzalez’s face, couldn’t close out the fight, leaving it up to the judges, who gave him the unanimous decision win.
Both fighters threw a massive amount of punches, but neither of them fully hit the canvas. According to CompuBox, Navarrete landed 36% of his 573 power punches to Gonzalez’s 32% of 462.
“Joet exceeded expectations. He’s such a fighter, a great fighter,” Navarrete said through an interpreter. “I hurt him, but every single time, he came back. And also, he hurt me. A couple of shots he landed hurt me in the fight.”
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It was in the second round when Navarrete made his first gash under Gonzalez’s right eye. It continued to open in the third round and beyond.
But it was the swelling that Gonzalez’s cut man, Mike Bazzel, said he was worried about.
But Gonzalez said the swelling didn’t bother him. And it looked that way as Gonzalez continued answering Navarrete’s blows with his own – still not going down.
“I thought I had the win, I hurt him in the third or fourth round on a right hand,” Gonzalez said. “I thought I had it 7 rounds to 5, 8 rounds to 4. I was really surprised by that score, 118-110, but it is what it is, man. I came and did my best.”
This was Navarrete’s third successful defense of his featherweight belt.
Meanwhile, for Gonzalez, he is now 0-2 in world title fights, but he said he’s going to continue to work and hopes to get another opportunity.