Emanuel Navarrete batters Francisco Horta to fourth-round stoppage, retains WBO 122-pound belt
WBO world junior featherweight titleholder Emanuel Navarrete battered Francisco Horta to a fourth round stoppage Saturday night at the Auditorio GNP Seguros in Puebla, Mexico.
Navarrete (30-1, 26 knockouts), who is ranked No. 3 by The Ring, successfully made the fourth defense of his title with the victory over Horta.
The 24-year-old Navarette, who resides in nearby San Juan Zitlaltepec, has fought often over the last several months. Prior to the Horta fight, Navarrete stopped Juan Miguel Elorde in round four on Sept. 14. The win over Elorde took place four weeks after Navarrete knocked out previously-unbeaten Francisco De Vaca in round three.
Despite entering Saturday’s fight unbeaten in his previous 13 fights, Horta was taking a major step-up in opposition. The Navarrete fight was Horta’s first 12-round bout and had only one scheduled 10-round bout under his belt.
From the opening bell, Navarrete was the aggressor, putting Horta on the defensive. Horta attempted to keep up with Navarrete’s punch output, but felt overwhelmed by the amount of punches he was receiving
Navarrete continued his high volume of punches, throwing and landing left hooks and right crosses to the head and body. By the third round, Horta was relegated to throwing one punch at a time and having to defend himself against the ropes.
The end came in round four when a punch to the body forced Horta to turn away from Navarrete. The fight was immediately stopped at 2:09 and it was revealed after the stoppage that Horta suffered an injury to his ribs.
Having fought four times in a span of seven months, it would be interesting to see if Navarrete would fight as often in 2020. He does want the opportunity to unify the junior featherweight titles, hoping to face any of the titleholders at 122 pounds.
“I feel very happy to have defended my title in front of my people,” said Navarrete, who is co-promoted by Top Rank and Zanfer Promotions. “Tomorrow (Dec. 8) is the one-year anniversary of me becoming a world champion and I couldn’t be any happier with everything I achieved this year. It was a productive 2019.”
“I am receiving the fruits of everything we have sacrificed for. You’ve seen the improvement after each fight and I want to keep improving so that 2020 is even better. That is why I will continue to work and train hard. I will not conform.”
Horta, who resides in Cancun, Mexico, falls to 20-4-1, 10 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing