Emanuel Navarrete makes light work of Uriel Lopez, scores sixth round TKO
Another fight, another knockout victory over Emanuel Navarrete.
The WBO junior featherweight titleholder stopped journeyman Uriel Lopez in round 6 of a non-title bout Saturday night at the TV Azteca Studios in Mexico City.
Navarrete, who is ranked No. 2 at 122 pounds by The Ring, improves to 32-1, 28 knockouts. The victory over Lopez marked Navarrete’s sixth consecutive knockout victory.
In his last bout on February 22, Navarrete battered Jeo Santisima of the Philippines before stopping him in round 11 in Las Vegas. The victory over Santisima was the fifth defense of the WBO title by Navarrete in a span of 10 months.
Saturday night marked a stay-busy fight for Navarrete, who has been contemplating between remaining at 122 pounds or moving up permanently to compete in the featherweight division. At Friday’s weigh-in, both Mexico City fighters weighed in at 127 pounds.
From the opening bell, the taller Navarrete was on the offensive, throwing his customary high-volume of punches, switching from conventional to southpaw as he walked Lopez down. Lopez was content to stand in the pocket, even an occasional counter hook or right hand to the head.
Navarrete’s punches began to take their toll as the fight progressed towards the middle rounds. Lopez’s punch output dropped and his face showed bruising from the amount of punches he received from Navarrete.
Midway through round 5, a barrage of punches followed by a left hook to the body dropped Lopez to one knee. Lopez was able to beat the count, but the end was inevitable as Navarrete looked to finish him.
Navarrete continued to batter Lopez in round 6, and although Lopez was game, he was receiving a great deal of punishment to the head. With less than a minute left, a barrage of punches dropped Lopez to the canvas. Lopez beat the count, but referee Cesar Calderon Varela stopped the bout at 2:22.
Compubox numbers showed another typical night for Navarrete, who threw 571 total punches, connecting on 190 of them. Lopez landed 49 of 252 title punches.
Although Navarrete has stated he would want to unify the junior featherweight division against WBC titleholder Rey Vargas or IBF/ WBA Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Navarrete could end up vacant the WBO title and remain at 126 pounds to contend for a world title.
Lopez drops to 13-14-1, 6 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