In the first defense of his WBO featherweight world title, Emanuel Navarrete stopped super game Christopher Diaz in the 12th round at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, FL Saturday night.
In the first defense of his WBO featherweight world title, Emanuel Navarette stopped super game Christopher Diaz in the 12th round at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, FL Saturday night.
The time was 2:49.
In round one, Diaz bounced and moved. He jabbed. Navarrete fired long hooks. Diaz went to the body. Navarrete, with a big advantage in reach, landed a right. He also opened up in the last few seconds of the round.
Diaz fired a combination in the next round. He also landed a counter. Navarrete,26, connected with an uppercut. The quicker Diaz walked into a right, but kept working the body. The round appeared to be his.
It was Navarrete’s (34-1, 29 KOs) turn to go to the body in round three. The stronger fighter landed two uppercuts and a right hand. A left from Navarrete’s corner scored. Diaz,26, landed a left while Navarrete connected with a combination. He was busier fighter and easily banked the heat.
Diaz (26-3, 16 KOs) was moving in round four. Navarrete fired sweeping shots. One landed. Both fighters connected with blows. Diaz dug two shots to the body. The awkward Navarrete let fly with a long uppercut that knocked Diaz on the seat of his pants. He got up and appeared OK.
Navarrete connected with two clubbing right hands in round five. Diaz landed a glancing blow. Navarrete forced the action. Diaz connected with a right to the chin. He fired a combination that just missed. Diaz picked up the pace in round six. He was pushing the fight. Navarrete, switching to southpaw, fired back. Diaz landed a right to the belly. Navarrete worked downstairs. Diaz landed a combination. His bodywork appeared to be bothering Navarrete.
In round seven, Navarrete opened up. Diaz fired back. Referee Samuel Burgos took a point away from Diaz for a kidney punch. Diaz stepped in a fired. Navarrete clipped Diaz with an uppercut.
Through seven rounds Navarrete clearly had the edge. Diaz had changed his style by forcing the fight. He was having success, but paying a price. Guts. Navarrete stabbed Diaz with jabs. Diaz worked inside. And upstairs.
Navarrete connected with a three-punch combination that sent Diaz down for the second time. Diaz pulled himself up. Navarrete ripped Diaz with shots – one a perfect left to belly that floored Diaz for the second time in the round. The gutsy warrior beat the count.
In round nine, Diaz, bleeding from his nose and mouth, let his hands go. He landed a hook. Navarrete fought back. He cracked Diaz with another uppercut. A hard combo hurt Diaz.
Navarrete, with the fight likely in the bag, boxed more in round 10. Diaz would need to land a game changing blow to change the outcome. He tried, but kept eating leather. Rounds 11 and 12 were more of the same. Diaz fired punches. A left hook caught Navarrete. The defending champion stuck his left out. He placed a shot to the ribs.
Diaz bulled inside and let his hands go. Balls to the wall. A number of blows landed. Both men were tired.
Navarrete fought back – letting fly with salvo’s that knocked Diaz down for the fourth time. The courageous fighter got up, but his corner had seen enough and told the referee the fight was over.
Explosive power-puncher Edgar Berlanga knocked Demond Nicholson down four times, ultimately settling for a wide unanimous decision. His first-round knockout streak, which had reached 16 fights was halted.
Berlanga seemed relieved.
Scores were 79-68, and 79-69 twice.
In the opening stanza, both fighters jabbed. Nicholson moved to his left - avoiding a big right hand.
Berlanga (17-0, 16 KOs) patiently moved forward. He worked the body. Nicholson (23-4-1, 20 KOs) met Berlanga in the middle of the ring in round two. Berlanga rocked Nicholson with a big right hand. Nicholson landed a straight right. Seconds later a Berlanga left hook floored Nicholson. The veteran from Maryland got up on rubbery legs. Nicholson made it to hear the bell but stumbled to his corner.
Berlanga landed a glancing blow in round three that bothered Nicholson. He scored his second knockdown with clubbing shot to the body. Didn’t look like a knockdown to this writer. Nicholson got up and moved away. He tried to jab but instead ate one from Berlanga.
Nicholson boxed well in round four. He landed a combination. Berlanga forced Nicholson into the ropes and worked. A wicked Berlanga left hook buckled Nicholson’s legs near the end of the heat. Nicholson’s gloves touched the canvas for knockdown number three in round five.
Berlanga walked after Nicholson. Two right hands landed, staggering Nicholson. In round six, Nicholson tried to survive a little longer. Berlanga stalked. A chopping left landed. Nicholson landed a punch, but a follow-up from Berlanga had him on queer street again.
The gutsy Nicholson fought back in round seven. Berlanga appeared to take the round off, at last most of it. He opened up in the last twenty seconds. In the eighth and final round, Berlanga tried to end the fight. Instead, Nicholson landed his own right. Berlanga connected with an uppercut and combination. Nicholson again fought back. Seconds later a big right hand floored Nicholson for the fourth time in the fight.