Emanuel Navarreteis keeping his title…
The 25-year-old Mexican boxer and junior featherweight world titlist turned in a workmanlike effort in a one-sided 11th-round knockout victory against Jeo Tupas Santisima to retain his 122-pound title on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“As I said during the build-up to the fight, I was coming for another knockout victory, and I got it,” Navarrete said through an interpreter. “It took me a little more time than expected. I hurt him a couple of times during the fight, but I got to give it to him; he is a real Filipino warrior. He took a lot of punches and didn’t go down.
“I hurt my right thumb trying to knock him out, but I knew I was close to stopping him, so I had to keep going.”
Navarrete was making the fifth defense of his junior featherweight belt — all in the past nine months, making him the most active current titlist in boxing.
“This is my fifth successful defense of the world title. Now I want a unification fight,” Navarrete said. “I’ll look at my options, but if I don’t get it soon, I’ll probably move to 126 pounds to challenge the champions at featherweight.”
Navarrete (31-1, 27 KOs), who had the longer reach, established his jab early to keep Santisima off balance while mixing in body shots and left hooks. He pressed forward, throwing combinations while Santisima covered up or threw one punch at a time.
Navarrete had a big fifth round as he landed right-left combinations almost at will. and he had Santisima trapped on the ropes for a large chunk of the round. Navarrete remained in total control with Santisima largely in survival mode during the latter stages of the fight.
Navarrete let his punches fly in the 10th round and appeared to have Santisima (19-3, 16 KOs), 23, of the Philippines, in trouble, but he could not put Santisima away. In the 11th round, Navarrete once again pounded on Santisima, and referee Russell Mora eventually stepped in to stop the fight at 2 minutes, 20 seconds — just as Santisima’s corner was throwing in the towel.
“Navarrete is a great champion, and I gave it my all to bring a world title back to the Philippines. I came up short, but I can hold my head high,” Santisima said.