SAN DIEGO – Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete and Joet Gonzalez engaged in a border war for the ages.
Navarrete (35-1, 29 KOs) retained his WBO featherweight world title with a bloody unanimous decision (118-110 and 116-112 2x) over Joet Gonzalez (24-2, 14 KOs) on Friday evening at Pechanga Arena San Diego. It was the second successful title defense for Navarrete, who moved up to the featherweight ranks last year after defending his junior featherweight crown five times.
“Without a doubt, I hurt him, but every single time he came back, and he also hurt me. A couple shots he landed hurt me during the fight,” Navarrete said. “It has been an exciting ride so far, and from now on, I want the bigger fights.”
The bigger fights could include an eventual move up to 130 pounds, where a match with WBC champion Oscar Valdez would be one of the biggest all-Mexican showdowns in the sport.
But on this night, Navarrete had to contend with the stubborn Gonzalez, who hung in tough despite swollen right eye in the early rounds. Navarrete threw 979 punches, including 104 in the 12th round to close the show in style.
Gonzalez said, “I thought I had it seven rounds to five, eight rounds to four. I was really surprised by that score of 118-110, I believe. But it is what it is, and I did my best.”
Emanuel Navarrete vs. Joet Gonzalez & Giovani Santillan vs. Angel Ruiz live and exclusively on ESPN+
Friday October 15th
Pechanga Arena San Diego, CA.
Photo credits: Mikey Williams/Top Rank – Getty Images 📸