Navarrete TKOs De Vaca in Third Round
Emmanuel Navarrete was too big and too strong for Francisco De Vaca, and within two minutes of the fight everybody knew it. Using his nearly seven-inch reach advantage and unorthodox rhythm, Navarrete battered De Vaca with long uppercuts while occasionally switching back and forth between orthodox and southpaw to more effectively close the distance as De Vaca tried to escape. De Vaca was dropped in the second, then beaten down in the third to the point that the referee stopped the fight.
The reason the fight wasn’t stopped sooner, was because De Vaca was landing punches throughout the bout (including just before the fight was stopped). Unfortunately for De Vaca, Navarrete’s punches were doing damage every time they landed, while Navarrete was walking through his. What this means for Navarrete’s future is interesting. While some people compare Navarrete to Gilberto Ramirez, he reminds me of Jaime Munguia. Like Munguia, he is big for the weight class and is walking through people with his ferocious power, but is showing enough defensive mistakes that a good enough boxer may make him look foolish.
We’ll have to see what happens, but we won’t have to wait long. After the fight, which moved him to 28-1 with 24 knockouts, Bob Arum said that Navarrete is “the best fighter in Mexico” (No love for Canelo, Bob?) and would be fighting on the Fury-Wallin undercard on Sept. 14. Navarrete will be the biggest Mexican star on the card, which takes place during Mexico’s Independence Day weekend.
While the card was supposed to be Navarrete’s coming out party as a Mexican superstar (ESPN aired a promotion before the fight talking about how LA is where Mexican fighters go to become stars), one of Top Rank’s biggest stars disrespected it in a major way. Terence “Bud” Crawford opted to no-show the fight, and go to Saturday’s UFC card instead. While a Navarrete fight against a no-name opponent isn’t anywhere near the UFC’s Heavyweight Championship, it was still an awkward look for Bob Arum and Top Rank Promotions.
Jessie Magdaleno Outclasses Rafael Rivera over 12 Rounds
The three times Rafael Rivera has faced an elite opponent, he’s fought a good fight, looked game, but ultimately lost a decision. Against Jessie Magdaleno, the pattern continued for fight number four. If we’re being honest about it, though, Rivera probably deserved to lose a disqualification instead.
Magdaleno was just too good for Rivera, consistently landing a straight left hand that had Rivera’s head snapping back. While Rivera tried to work the body and slow Magdaleno down, there were no signs that was happening, and after cutting Magdaleno with a headbutt in the fourth, Rivera was dropped in the ninth. In that round, Rivera landed an elbow that cut Magdaleno and forced the fight to the scorecards. There wasn’t much drama, as Magdaleno was clearly ahead in the fight and ultimately took a unanimous 89-81, 89-81, 88-82 decision.
Was the elbow intentional? Well, it came at a time when at the very least Rivera could have used a break and Tim Bradley was certainly making the case that he thought it was on purpose. In the end, it may not matter, but the commission might want to take a look at it. Either way, Magdaleno probably needs one more win before he gets a title shot at 126.
Tim Tsyzu Beats Dwight Ritchie, Looks to Fight Jeff Horn
Kostya Tszu’s son Tim won this weekend, beating fellow Australian Dwight “The Fighting Cowboy” Ritchie to move to 14-0 with 10 knockouts. Tsyzu was too good for Ritchie, who couldn’t get any offense off but made it to the final bell still throwing punches, before hearing he lost a unanimous 98-93, 98-92, 97-93 decision. Having fought exclusively in Australia, there are rumors Tsyzu is going to fight Jeff Horn next for Australian welterweight supremacy. Considering how often Horn calls out the bigger names in the division to no avail, it might be his best option, whether he likes it or not.
Niall Kennedy Loses to Former Olympian Devin Vargas
At 13-0, Niall Kennedy was on a roll in his professional career, but this weekend Devin Vargas showed his experience was just too much for the man who had declared he wasn’t even the best boxer in his Irish housing project. Vargas, who has fought guys like Andy Ruiz as a professional (in 2018) and represented Team USA in the 2004 Olympics, stopped Kennedy in the fifth round, to improve to 21-5.
Foster Outpoints Grachev Despite Experience Gap
On the other hand, but on the same card, Connecticut’s Charles Foster beat Denis Grachev by a unanimous 97-93, 99-91, 100-90 decision, overcoming a vast experience gap in previous opponents. See, Grachev had fought guys like Lucian Bute and Isaac Chilemba, while Foster had mainly fought unknown New England competition. After the fight, Foster called out Jean Pascal, which is not going to happen. Foster isn’t a big enough name for Pascal, and Pascal has to rematch Marcus Browne first anyway.
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