Navarrete comes off canvas to win WBO 130lb title

Emanuel Navarrete Vs Liam Wilson Action15
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images

WBO featherweight champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete (37-1, 31 KOs) got all he could handle from 14:1 underdog Liam Wilson (11-2, 7 KOs), but scored an exciting ninth round TKO to claim the vacant WBO junior lightweight title formerly held by Shakur Stevenson on Friday night at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona. Wilson knocked down Navarrete in round four and Navarrete got up reeling but survived the round. In round six, Wilson rocked Navarrete again, but it was his last hurrah. Navarrete came back with quick combinations in rounds seven and eight to keep Wilson on the defense. Navarrete finally dropped Wilson in round nine and got a referee’s stoppage with his brutal follow-up barrage. Time was 1:57.

Navarrete is now a three-division world champion. Next up is likely a showdown between Navarrete and former champion Oscar Valdez.

At the time of the stoppage, all three judges had Navarrete ahead (76-75 and 77-74 2x).

“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.”

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  • Liam screwed up big time. Instead of spinning out, he went straight back every time. If he had spun some he could have matadored a win easy from bull rush Navarette..

  • Liam got cheated the referee gave navarrete a huge break and time it should had been over in the fourth round

      • It’s called experience as Corrales Did against Castillo in the first fight…

        • Doesn’t take a lot if experience the do something illegal… most people just call it cheating.

          • So what. What’s the penalty? A point. Big deal. Savvy move. Trinidad did it everytime he got hurt. He would hit low. You lose a point sometimes but the break time is invaluable

          • Well, after the 1st time you should get get a warning. then is up to the referee to start taking points after that. Not necessarily illegal.

  • That was fun! Navarrete wasn’t in great shape (if Valdez is next, he will have to be in much better condition), but he started to come on late, like he usually does. Wilson did not win, but he showed he was MUCH better than most of us thought and he should go back to Australia proud of himself.

    • Bradley is the best as a no bullshit commentator. He tells it like it is without concerns of offending the coward perfect record fighters & their over protective promoters.

  • I think a healthy Valdez wins that fight but we will never know….Navarre looked a step slower tonight….he is my favorite fighter to watch and I was a bit concerned…he always starts slow but he just seemed…off? All credit to the Aussie…he fought his tail off and gave Emanuel all he wanted and could have won that fight….very entertaining….

    • NUTS AND GUTS!!!!That was absolutely fun to watch….. excellent display of will from both fighters…that is what boxing is about… definitely want to see that again but know that Valdez is up next…Valdez better be prepared…glad to see both fighters give everything…leaving it all in the ring …showing boxing professional at the highest level…even the referee did an outstanding job…allowed the fighters to continuously engage …all while giving each an opportunity to rally but most importantly being safe and stopping it at the right time….of all things an excellent fight on ESPN..Congrats all around…

      • Actually….the spitting out of the mouthpiece was the only stain of the fight .. in fairness…the referee did drop the ball there..thought that the ref …at the end could have stopped fight earlier ..on behalf of a stoppage win for either fighter but allowed both to battle it out…really have to do something about .spitting the mouth piece out…if it didn’t come out based on a punch…maybe a point deduction? Suggestions?

      • Jason this site…in my opinion…is more about “ass whuppin” or ass kicking than about, grammatical errors, spelling…I “ain’t” reading this site or watching boxing for spelling..This “ain’t” no damn classroom and you are not our professor or teacher….go to your British boxing site and correct posters …while you drinking your tea…

  • Very good fight. Need to run that one back. I see a valdez fight like all the other navarette fights. Too big for valdez and just bully him. Wilson has no reason to hang his head.

  • Fuck me ,how the on earth does that referee live with himself? Eternity to fix a mouthguard,long count. Not to mention dodgy weigh in. Plain cheating in my view and I sincerely hope that this will be investigated!
    What a disgrace for boxing!!

    • Couldn’t agree more. Yet post above, Sean, congratulating the ref on a good fight. I thought it was a blatant long count. I must have been watching a different fight.

      • I’m Latino and said the same thing the referee gave navarrete a huge break shame on him it should had beenover in the 4 round

    • It’s boxing. I remember when Coralles did it twice in the 10th round against Castillo. Remember Lucian Bute VS Andrade? The long 20 count. It happens.

    • In my unbiased opinion, Emmanuel should have been given five minutes to recoup after being hit while down. I do believe that a point should b e deducted automatically if a fighter spits out mouthpiece.

  • Just goes to show what you can accomplish with all the Top Rank boys on your side: Navarrete was given a what? 30 second count as the ref made sure the round was winding down.

  • When a fighter spits his mouthpiece out after a knockdown it should be an immediate point deduction if they spit it out post knockdown. No need to go through the theatrics. It’s a fight. Why worry about cleaning it off? The guys are throwing punches round after round, but you are worried about debris? Sometimes I get miffed by the lack of logic in boxing

    • Could be a disqualification or stoppage loss. It is like turning your back, a sign you don’t want to continue. Corrales did this against Castillo and I still wonder to this day if this helped him win their classic.

      • Now that was a fight…. Think in that fight did it more than once…but hey fighters do other things to extend time….. understand it from both perspectives ….though….have a unique solution…in the NFL a penalty from the penalized party cannot extend the game..end of quarter or end of game…or even better……in boxing ….if the fighter is really hurt and spits of the mouthpiece “intentionally” to buy time ….give the ref..the power to disqualify immediately ending the fight ….or deduct point(s)..could also deduct from the guilty fighter’s purse/money boxer makes…like the NFL does when it determines a a player fakes an injury to buy time
        …. .would deter fighters from taking that approach….. seriously understand from a guilty fighter’s perspective.though…would not care about the risk as long as I am in the fight….getting a chance to win..i.e….Corrales vs Castillo
        ..worked for Corrales….Google that fight…must see for a boxing fan…

  • Wilson had a tremendous opportunity but he couldn’t capitalize on it. I thought he should have bullied Navarrete and backed him up to the ropes often. He waited a little too long in each round and his punch output was subpar as the fight went on. The ref really helped Navarrete by giving him a lot of time to recuperate after the knockdown. Without that help, Wilson may have been able to finish the fight with a knockout. Navarrete was really hurt and his legs were not behaving correctly.

    I believe Navarrete will find the 130 pounders a lot harder to handle than the featherweights he’s been facing. Some of them hit hard and can match him in size and strength. He also makes a lot of mistakes that the top fighters can capitalize on.

    One thing we can say about Navarrete. He is never in a dull fight and his engine revs harder as the fight goes on. If you don’t get him early, it will be a long night for you. I really look forward to the Valdez fight. Valdez is limited but he has risen to the occasion, so he may finally be the one to tame the unorthodox slugger.

  • The Mexican was the beneficiary of racially biased refereeing. Navarette did not beat a legitimate 10 count and the fight should have been stopped, with the Australian fighter being declared the winner by KO. But the Mexican has not fought anybody in his whole career that’s above a B- fighter, and if he was ever to fight somebody like a Lomachenko at 130 he would get brutally beaten up. He’s the Zurdo Ramirez of the lower weight classes, and we all saw what happened to him.
    If Navarrete and Inoue were to meet at 126, I would favor the Japanese fighter inside the distance.

    • Not sure what you mean by Navarrete didn’t beat legitimate 10 count. Navarrete was up by count of 6. Please explain

  • Ref saved Navarette and Top Rank by giving the longest time to recover from a knockdown I have seen in years. Absolutely disgraceful and blatant CHEATING to allow him to survive that 4th round.

  • How did get he get title shot with so little of fights? Not being facetious, someone know?

  • great fight terrible announcers bradley ward tessitore should quit trying to annouce they completly missed the knockdown of liam by navarrate bradley makes a lot of bigfoot calls whenever a fighter gets buzzed instead of telling the tv audience what is happening liam gave his best shot but navarrate power and experience and pressure was liams downfall

    • Ward is a very good to excellent commentator….articulates things from a fighter’s perspective….best fight commentator out there…..Do agree though commentators need to call the fight…ESPN take note…just call the damn fight!!!!!…boxing fans not blind or deaf…be impartial when calling the fight shows integrity.. credibility ….hurts your commentators if they are forced to be selective about calling the fight….

  • Fantastic showcasing and determination by both men. The knock down controversy has played out many times over the years but it’s only a controversy if the downed fighter comes back to win. Is it fair?No but Liam had many opportunities after the knock down, took Navarrete in deep waters but just couldn’t get him out when Navarrete was badly hurt. Navarrete looked sluggish and out of shape but dug deep in order to close the show. Stoppage came by the corner but I think Liam should’ve taken a knee and try to get thru the round. Congratulations to both fighters for a great Friday night fight!!!

  • With the long count talk, Liam Wilson should have been able to win anyway, instead he didn’t want to go beyond round 4 and have to see if he could keep winning up to round 10 and then survive the 11th and 12th to win on the cards. Wilson fought till he could fight no more. Probably body shots took a lot out of him. He should get 2 wins and try for a rematch.

  • It might have been a different outcome if the count after the knockdown was 8 seconds and not half a minute. This surpasses the Dempsey-Tunney long count. At least Navarret should have had a point deducted for deliberately spitting out his mouthpiece after the count and taking his time putting it back in.

  • Fun fight. Navarette is easy to hit so he will have lots of exciting fights. Liams size really bothered him. If it is Valdez next that will be a cracker of a fight

  • That was a great fight but I’m sorry, that long count was more crooked than a nine dollar note. It should have been over in round 4 and the rookie should be getting his dues.

  • The ref should be suspended, but in the world of boxing, he will probably get more assignments.

  • I don’t recall the “commentators” even mentiioning the mouthpiece incident. Pretty blatant move by the ref to take that long to put a mouthpiece that he didn’t even was off back in Navarette’s mouth. Never even mentioned that I remember. Pissed me off.

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