WBO Super Bantamweight champion, Emanuel Navarrete made a winning Featherweight debut stopping Uriel Lopez in the sixth round in Mexico City on Saturday night.
Navarrete, (31-1, 27 KOs) who has established himself as one of the biggest punchers in the sport today and is the sport’s most active World champion, notched another inside schedule victory on Top Rank’s latest bill.
The Mexican, who impressed with a stoppage win over Jeo Santisima on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s victory over Deontay Wilder in February began on the attack from the opening bell against Lopez, (13-14-1, 6 KOs) switching stances while also keeping up his usual high volume of punches.
Navarrete would also walk Lopez down almost from the off, but the underdog was happy to stand and keep in the pocket against his dangerous opposition. Eventually though, the damage would rapidly grow, and Lopez’s ambition faded pretty quickly.
Halfway through the fifth round, an accumulation of punches followed by a left hook to the body forced Lopez to take a knee.
Lopez beat the count, but the writing was firmly on the wall as the favourite went for the finish.
The 25-year-old continued his two fisted assault, and a couple of body shots on a tired Lopez forced him to the canvas once more, and as the count got to eight, the referee had thankfully seen enough.
After the contest, Navarrete explained that he is happy to build his legacy at Super Bantamweight, but if he is avoided by other champions in unified IBF/WBA titlist Murodjon Akhmadaliev and WBC champion Rey Vargas in his attempts to unify, then he has no problems in moving up to Featherweight.
“I have the utmost respect for Uriel Lopez. He put forth a courageous effort, but I was coming to win by knockout,” Navarrete said post-fight.
“I want to unify titles, but if nobody accepts my challenge, I’ll move up to Featherweight”.
WBO Featherweight champion, Shakur Stevenson could move up in weight, after testing out the waters at 130lbs with victory over Felix Caraballo earlier this month and with both Navarrete and Magdaleno signed to Top Rank, a match shouldn’t be too hard to make.
In the preliminaries, Sergio Sanchez (15-1, 9 KOs) settled his contest with Gustavo Pina (8-3, 5 KOs) in the third of a scheduled eight rounder at Featherweight with a highlight reel knockout.
Sanchez had already scored a knockdown in the second, but left the result in no doubt a round later, when a left hook come uppercut detonated on the point of Pina’s chin, and he was out.
There was an upset in another Featherweight bout, as Carlos Ornelas dropped to 25-3, 14 KOs with defeat to Edwin Palomares, who improves to 13-3-1, 4 KOs.
Ornelas started well enough, but then faded, allowing Palomares to take over the contest. An accumulation of punches took their toll in the fifth, and Palomares added a body punch for good measure to put his foe down.
Soon after, Ornelas’ corner had seen their man take too much punishment, and withdrew him from battle.
Ivan Garcia handily outscored Roberto Palomares (5-5-1, 1 KO) over six rounds at Flyweight to move to 6-0, 3 KOs. Scores of 59-56, and 59-55 twice were enough for Garcia to take the win.