Emanuel Navarrete Defeats Juan Miguel Elorde to Retain Junior Featherweight Belt

Emanuel Navarrete is celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day with a W…

The 24-year-old Mexican professional boxer, the junior featherweight world titlist, retained his belt for the second time in a month after stopping Juan Miguel Elorde in the fourth round on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.

Emanuel Navarrete

Fighting in the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+co-feature, Navarrete took the fight on short notice for the opportunity to fight on Mexican Independence Dayweekend, and he took care of Elorde in fine fashion.

Navarrete (29-1, 25 KOs), who retained his 122-pound world title for the third time — each defense since May — had a slow first round, then unloaded repeatedly on Elorde, scoring a knockdown in the third round and eventually forcing the stoppage.

“I’m happy because I think I put on a great performance,” Navarrete said through a translator. “Fortunately, my opponent is OK, and I came out here to put on a show. I hope the fans enjoyed it on my very first Las Vegas show on Mexican Independence Day weekend. ‘Vaquero‘ Navarrete is here to stay.”

Navarrete was fighting less than a month after his last defense. On August 17, Navarrete headlined a Top Rankcard in Los Angeles and retained his title by third-round knockout of Francisco De Vaca. In the ring after the fight, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, wanting to put a fight involving a Mexican world titleholder on Fury’s undercard on the Mexican holiday weekend, asked Navarrete if he wanted to come back a month later, and Navarrete gleefully accepted.

Elorde had a good first round, landing a series of sharp punches; but Navarrete came back strong in the second round, as he got his potent left hook going and never let up.

Navarrete stopped Elorde in his tracks with a clean right hand in the third round and continued to attack him. Moments later, Navarrete rocked Elorde with a thudding left hand to the face that might have broken Elorde’s nose. Navarrete was in total control by the end of the round when he drilled Elorde into the ropes with a left and a right that counted as a knockdown because the ropes held him up.

Referee Russell Moratook a long look at Elorde in the corner after the third round, but the fight was allowed to continue. However, Navarrete hurt his opponent early in the round with a tremendous right hand that buckled him, and Mora jumped in and waved it off at 26 seconds.

“The most important thing here was that it was a good performance for me,” Navarrete said. “I think the referee did the right thing. He’s going to go home to his family and everything is going to be OK. It was a good performance on my behalf, and he gave what he could. At the end of the day, I came away with the hard-fought victory.”

According to CompuBox, Navarrete landed 88 of 220 punches (40%), and Elorde landed just 28 of 101 (28%).Elorde (28-2, 15 KOs), 32, of the Philippines — who is the grandson of Filipino legend and International Boxing Hall of FameGabriel “Flash” Elorde, the longtime 1960s junior lightweight world champion — also happily accepted the fight on three weeks’ notice. He

Orozco Knocks Out KeAndre Gibson

Antonio Orozco is still unbeaten…

The 29-year-old Mexican professional boxer, a junior welterweight contender has positioned himself for a world title shot after knocking out KeAndre Gibson in the fourth round in a fight between unbeaten fighters on Saturday at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

Antonio Orozco

Orozco (26-0, 17 KOs) lived up to his nickname of “Relentless” as he went right after Gibson (16-1-1, 7 KOs) in the main event of the “Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN” card. He backed him up throughout the bout and blasted away to the body.

In the second round, Orozco forced Gibson to the ropes and continued to pound his body. A couple of shots strayed slightly low, and referee Russell Mora warned Orozco about the infraction.

With a minute left in the third round, Gibson landed a very low left hand that badly hurt Orozco, and Mora issued him a stern warning. But Orozco shook off the low blow, and in the fourth round, they continued to battle at close range before Orozco flicked out a jab and followed with a right hand behind it that caught Gibson hard near the temple.

Gibson dropped to the canvas on all fours and was clearly hurt. Although he beat the count, he was unsteady and did not respond to Mora when asked if he wanted to continue, forcing Mora to wave off the fight at 1 minute, 31 seconds as Orozco leaped in the air and pumped his fist in celebration.

“My corner was telling me he’s got the jab [figured out], so hide it and follow with the right hand,” Orozco said. “They were telling me, ‘Follow up after the jab,’ and that’s what we did — double jab, right hand.”

Gibson, who was stepping up the level of his opposition, had no excuses.

“I tried to outbox him,” said Gibson, whose purse was $20,000 compared to Orozco’s $30,000. “Unfortunately, I got caught. It happens.”

According to CompuBox punch statistics, Orozco landed 81 of 248 punches (33 percent) and Gibson landed 62 of 185 punches (34 percent), though nothing appeared to remotely bother Orozco. Of Orozco’s 63 landed power shots, 43 were to the body.

It was a big turnaround for Orozco, 29, compared to where he was three months ago. He was preparing to fight Fidel Maldonado Jr. on December 16, knowing a win would send him into a world title elimination fight or perhaps directly to a shot at unified world champion Terence Crawford.

Two days before the fight though, Orozco was struggling to make the 140-pound weight limit. He was dehydrated and lethargic and ultimately passed out. He wound up in the hospital, and the fight was canceled. He had waited too long to cut weight, and it cost him the title eliminator.

He was deeply apologetic to his team and took responsibility for what happened. In preparation to fight Gibson, Orozco hired a nutritionist to help him make weight properly, and he weighed in at 139.6 pounds on Friday afternoon and looked very sharp in the fight.

“From start to finish, I stuck to the fundamentals in this fight,” Orozco said. “We knew he was quick, had good foot movement [and was] a great boxer. Patience was the key, and we prevailed. I’m very happy to have won this fight, and now it’s time to go home to my family.”

With the victory, Orozco put himself back on track for a shot at a world title.

“This is the goal,” he said. “This is the first step [after what happened in December]. We’re here to become world champion.”

Valdez KOs Matias Adrian Rueda to Win Featherweight World Title

Oscar Valdez is officially a world champion…

The 25-year-old Mexican boxer, who always dreamed of being a world titleholder like his idols Erik Morales, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Jose Luis Castillo knocked out Matias Adrian Rueda in the second round to win a vacant featherweight world title Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Oscar Valdez

“This was my dream since I was 8 years old,” Valdez said, holding back tears. “It is the dream we shared, me and my father. I just work hard in the gym. We got to accomplish our dream. Now I want to fight the best. Whoever it is, let’s do it.”

Valdez won the 126-pound world title vacated last month by Vasyl Lomachenko after he moved up in weight and won a junior lightweight title. And Valdez did it in explosive fashion.

He repeatedly rocked Rueda in the first round with left hooks to the head and then destroyed him in the second round.

Valdez (20-0, 18 KOs), Mexico’s only two-time Olympic boxer (2008 and 2012), began the round by rocking Rueda with a right hand to the head. Then he landed a left hook to the body that forced Rueda to take a knee.

Rueda (26-1, 23 KOs), 28, of Argentina, beat the count, but it was only a matter of time. Valdez went on the immediate attack and lashed him with punches. He put together a five-punch combination, four clean head shots followed by another powerful left hook to the body that dropped him again. As soon as Rueda went down referee Russell Mora waved off the fight at 2 minutes, 18 seconds.

“He caught me with a real good body shot and that was it,” Rueda said through an interpreter. “I could never recover. He really hurt me with that [first] body shot.”

Although Valdez was born in Mexico and still lives there, he spent most of his childhood living in Tucson, Arizona, where he went to school. A delegation of city officials were in Las Vegas for the fight to meet with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum about scheduling Valdez’s first defense in the city on November 26 pending a victory.

de la Rosa Survives Late Bout Surge from Alfredo Angulo

James de la Rosa lives to fight another despite some tense moments late in his fight…

The 26-year-old half-Mexican Middleweight boxer dominated Mexican boxer Alfredo Angulo throughout their bout, but had to hang on after a few rough moments in the final two rounds to win a unanimous decision.

James de La Rosa

de la Rosa (23-2, 13 KOs) won 99-89, 98-90 and 96-92, but was in big trouble in the ninth and 10th rounds against Angulo (22-5, 18 KOs), who was moving up to middleweight and lost his third fight in a row. He was attempting to rebound after back-to-back knockout losses to Erislandy Lara and Canelo Alvarez.

de la Rosa, of San Benito, Texas, started fast and dropped Angulo just as the bell ended the second round when he landed two left hands that sent his opponent reeling into the ropes, which held him up. de la Rosa continued to go to his combinations and repeatedly knocked Angulo’s head back while taking very little in return.

In the seventh round, referee Russell Mora docked a point from Angulo, whose face was getting badly marked up, for a low blow. And after the eighth round, Virgil Hunter, Angulo’s trainer, told him the deal in the corner: “If you don’t knock him out, your career is over. Go get him for me.”

Angulo tried and landed some heavy shots that wobbled de la Rosa in the ninth, but he survived.

Angulo, 32, was all over De La Rosa in the 10th and badly staggered him in the final minute, but de la Rosa stayed on his feet for a dramatic finish.

“I’m proud of myself,” De La Rosa said. “I felt I won it easy. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I fell off at the end. I wanted to put on a good show. That was my fault. I hurt my hand in the second round. I fought through it. That’s boxing.”

Fortuna Claims WBA Featherweight Champion Title…

Javier Fortuna is now the WBA Featherweight Champion…

The 22-year-old Dominican (21-0, 15 KOs) handily outpointed Ireland’s Patrick Hyland (27-1, 12 KOs) in a scrappy fight to win a vacant interim title.

Javier Fortuna

The fight drew rants from the crowd due to its uneven action, but Fortuna managed to keep up a steady pace of punches while Ireland’s Hyland — who is promoted by “Jersey Shore” star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi — wasn’t able to really do much with his much faster opponent.

Fortuna won 118-110, 116-112 and a surprisingly close 115-113. ESPN.com scored it for Fortuna, 119-109.

“I thought I would get a pretty easy knockout, but I underestimated Hyland and it turned out to be a more difficult fight than I thought it would be,” Fortuna said through a translator.

Fortuna is a southpaw whose style resembles that of middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, his stablemate. Fortuna likes to mimic Martinez by carrying his hands low and also leans in with his head, using his quickness to avoid punches.

Unable to deal with Fortuna’s quick hands, Hyland tried to make it a street fight. He was warned for low blows in the third round. In the ninth round, he threw Fortuna to the canvas and easily could have been docked a point by referee Russell Mora. Fortuna tweaked his right shoulder when he was thrown down. Later in the round, Hyland doubled over Fortuna with a low blow that earned him warning.

“It was a good scrap,” Hyland said. “He didn’t hit as hard as everyone said he would hit me and he kept running the last few rounds. People were making him out to be the next best thing, but he is still a kid and he needs to mature a little bit.”

Fortuna, one of boxing’s top prospects, had been very impressive in his other two 2012 fights, a first-round destruction of previously undefeated Yuandale Evans in April and a second-round stoppage of former featherweight titlist Cristobal Cruz.