Philippines, 08 Oct 2022
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NAVARRETE DEFENDS WBO BELT WITH 12th ROUND TKO VICTORY OVER DIAZ


PhilBoxing.com



Navarrete drops Diaz.

Two-division world champion Emanuel Navarrete of Mexico scored four knockdowns against worthy challenger Christopher Diaz of Puerto Rico to win by 12th round TKO and retained his WBO featherweight title Saturday night (Sunday in Manila) at the the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida in a Top Rank card televised live on ESPN+.

Old-school Navarrete who had three title fights last year even during the pandemic, dropped Diaz once with his signature uppercut in the second round, twice in the 8th round during a heated exchange and once in the last 15 seconds of the 12th round before Diaz's corner signaled to stop the fight.

Local boy Diaz, cheered by his Puerto Rican compatriots and who once challenged for the 130-lb title against Masayuki Ito of Japan, tried every trick in his arsenal against the unconventional Navarrete but the WBO champion had every answer to whatever Diaz brought to the table.


Navarrete (R) connects at Diaz during a furious exchange.

In the first five rounds, Diaz used his feet to box Navarrete from a distance, dashing in and out, but Navarrete, who has an eight inches reach advantage often caught Diaz with his long uppercut and combinations that resulted to a second round knockdown.

Diaz then fought inside backing up Navarrete and attacking the Mexican's body that initially appeared to have some success but Navarrete's championship mettle showed and answered fire with fire resulting a Diaz hitting the canvas twice in the 8th round and a point deducted for Diaz in the 7th for hitting the back of Navarrete after he had been warned by Referee Samuel Burgos earlier.

Diaz returned to fight from a distance in the 9th and 10th but Navarrete still continued to dominate. But you have to give it to the tough Boricua who never stopped trying to find his way against the lanky Mexican hombre. Diaz gave it all in the last two rounds resulting in a no-stop give and take that saw the champion absorbing some hard punches but Diaz, his face bloodied from a damaged nose bridge and lip lacerations, finally succumbed to Navarrete's blistering combinations and went down again in the last seconds of the last round. Although the brave Diaz was able to beat the count, it is clear that it would be futile to continue as his corner told an official to stop the fight.

Navarrete thus successfully defended his WBO featherweight belt for the first that he won against Ruben Villa in October, 2020. He fought Jeo Santisima of the Philippines on Feb. 222, 2020 to defend his WBO superbantam title for the last time before moving up in weight. The warrior Diaz meanwhile dropped to 26-3-0, 16KOs.


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