Navarrete defeats Villa for WBO feather belt

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Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete (33-1, 28 KOs) scored a twelve round unanimous decision over Ruben Villa (18-1, 5 KOs) to claim the vacant WBO featherweight title on Friday night in the Bubble at the MGM Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. Navarrete, who was previously WBO super bantamweight world champion with five successful defenses, dropped Villa with a left uppercut in round one and in round four with a straight left hand. After that he pressed the action and went on to a 114-112, 114-112, 115-111 victory. The scoring seemed a little too close.

“I knew that Villa was a fighter that moved a lot and I knew that he was going to move even more once he felt my power,” said Navarrete.

“I didn’t get the knockout, but I got the victory. I’m very happy with this championship. It’s a reflection of all the sacrifices and all the hard work I put in. I conquered my second weight class because of all that hard work.

“I have my sights set on all the world champions at 126. I would love to face {Josh} Warrington. I think that our styles will make for a great fight.”

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  • Wow can’t believe the judges had it 6-6 twice. Thank God Navarette scored the knockdowns for his sake. He gave away a couple rounds but not 5 or 6. These judges need to get their eyes checked. At least the best man won.

  • Navarrete is incredibly sloppy and nasty, but he is just as effective. He wants Warrington and that’s an excellent fight and Navarrete – Xu Can would be special as well. I’d take either one.

    • Sloppy and nasty???…
      thats an insult and very disrespectful for a great warrior/champion like Navarrete
      How about unorthodox and violent

      • You can call it unorthodox and violent if you want, that’s fine. But you watched that fight and others and you see how off-balance and uncoordinated Navarrete often is, but I also called him effective. And you’re right he is a great warrior and a champion and he’s one of my favorite fighters to watch these days. But he is incredibly flawed as well and that is part of the attraction.

  • The judges in a number of recent fights have gone off their nut! Tonight? Outrageous scoring. Villa may have won 3 rounds, and that’s being generous.

  • The scoring almost made me cough up my food.

    Anyhow, Navarrete reminds me of a Praying Mantis. Navarrete has a very unorthodox style with punches from various angles, but it works because he can punch. I like his predator attitude in the ring because he is looking to destroy his opponent with high pressure and strong volume punching with pop to it. I would love to see him fight Warrington in a good boxing war.

    As for Villa, it’s hard to diminish an opponent’s high pressure without a stinging punch delivery, at the very least. Navarrete simply had no respect for Villa’s punches, and it caused Villa to experience a high stress load. Villa tried, but he simply did not have a stinging punch to make Navarrete stay at range to locate/mount his offensive rhythm with confidence.

  • Once again, the NV Athletic Commission has disgraced itself. The moronic 114-112 scores in the Navarette-Villa bout were just another insult to the public’s intelligence since boxing reappeared in these bubbles. Navarette dominated throughout. Truly pathetic officiating…week after week.

  • Navarrette clearly won the fight. He missed a lot and looked awkward when he missed, but when his punches landed they had knockout power behind them. Villa, on the other hand, made Navarrette miss often but just didn’t stand his ground and make him pay when he was off-balance. His shots, when they landed, had no effect on Navarrette.

    Villa just didn’t punch hard enough to earn Navarrette’s respect, so Navarrette just walked through whatever Villa threw to land his own shots. It will take a good boxer who punches hard enough to keep Navarrette from just steamrolling him as the fight progresses to beat this man.

    The cards were way off base. It is always a crapshoot when you leave the decision in the hands of the judges. I could see a close fight if Villa had made Navarrette pay for all those misses, but he just kept moving without setting down enough to land clean blows. The problem he had was that Navarrette could throw punches even while out of position and off-balance, so Villa never did take any risks to take advantage of those wild swings. No risk, no reward. He went the distance but was too gunshy for my taste.

    I would give Villa 3 rounds at most, but he was hurt multiple times throughout the fight even when he didn’t go to the canvas, so I have to give Navarrette credit for the much harder punches. This is pro boxing after all.

  • It was a pretty one-sided fight. Villa was on the run all night and too timid to engage much. Good thing Navarrete went for the kill in the last round or it could have been a draw.

  • This man is the only old school fighter we have now. He fights often, and he fights because he is a warrior. The fight scoring was as usual SUSPECT!!! Boxing is always being abused, and many times by the very people that should be the last ones to abuse the sport.Simply in Navarette we have one of the few that is a real fighter. Congrats to this man on his march forward.I look forward to him cleaning out another division.

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