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Emanuel Navarrete wants Naoya Inoue, believes he’ll beat him

Image: Emanuel Navarrete wants Naoya Inoue, believes he'll beat him

By Max Seitelman: Emanuel ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete wants to stay around 122 long enough to see if he can get a fight against Japanese superstar Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue. WBO super bantamweight champion Navarrete (31-1, 27 KOs) believes that Inoue, 27, isn’t tough enough to take the punishment that he dished out to Isaac Dogboe in their two fights.

Navarrete sees IBF/WBA bantamweight champion Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) as “soft” and he’s confident that he’ll beat him when the time comes for them to fight.

If Navarrete is going to sit and park himself at 122, waiting for Inoue to possibly fight him, he should have a time limit. Navarrete can’t foolishly sit and wait for a fight that will never come.

His management needs to let him know now if there’s a real chance that Inoue will agree to fight him. If not, then Navarrete needs to move up to 126 and not waste time.

I think Inoue and his management realize that it would be a bad idea to face Navarrete, so they won’t bother making this fight.

Inoue is co-promoted by Top Rank, who also promotes the 25-year-old Navarrete. Top Rank hasn’t said anything about wanting to match Inoue and Navarrete. The fight that they want to make is Inoue vs. WBO 118-lb champ John Riel Casimero.

Image: Emanuel Navarrete wants Naoya Inoue, believes he'll beat him

Navarrete too big for Inoue

The 5’5″ Monster Inoue and 5’4″ Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs) are roughly the same size as each other, and they fight in the same weight class at 118. In the 5’7″ Navarrete, he’s two inches taller than Inoue, and he has a five-inch reach advantage.

That’s not all, though. Navarrete is also a lot heavier than Inoue, and he would likely enjoy a 15-pound weight advance on the night of the fight. Inoue is a talented fighter, but he doesn’t have the size to be going up against a guy that should arguably be fighting at 126.

With the punishment that the Japanese star Inoue took in his last fight against WBA 118-lb champion Nonito Donaire last November, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll want any part of facing Navarrete.

The Mexican fighter can punch almost as well as Donaire, but he’s capable of throwing many more punches per round. As great as Inoue’s defense is, he’s not going to be able to dodge Navarrete’s shots all night the way he did against Donaire. Another thing that makes Navarrete a bad match-up for Inoue is his body-punching.

Inoue didn’t have to worry about getting hit to the body by Donaire because that guy is a head-hunter. The rest of the guys Inoue has fought have ignored his body. Navarrete won’t neglect to throw body shots, and Inoue will get a taste of his own medicine.

If Inoue does agree to fight Navarrete, it’s probably going to be at 118. It’s doubtful that the A-side guy Inoue would agree to come up to 122 to fight the less popular Navarrete.

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Inoue’s power doesn’t worry Navarrete

Navarrete got his feet wet at featherweight in his last fight in beating journeyman Uriel Lopez by a sixth-round knockout on June 20 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“I think so, I would do well against Inoue, thanks to my ferocity,” said Navarrete to ESPN Deportes. “You guys saw Dogboe, which I can’t say is Inoue, but he was greatly feared at super bantamweight at the time and when I was told of the fight I took on the challenge.

“It took my ferocity, my will, Inoue, I do not see so many possibilities to beat me, I see him as very docile, soft. I don’t think I can take what Dogboe put up with.

“[Inoue] is fast and has good combinations, but Dogboe connected me and did not hurt me. Comparing them, I don’t give Inoue as many possibilities,” said Navarrete.

If Donaire was able to handle Inoue’s power, then Navarrete will be able to take it as well. That’s terrible news for Inoue because it would mean that he would need to beat Navarrete by a 12 round decision.

Unfortunately, Inoue won’t last long getting hit 40 to 50 times per round by Navarrete. The Mexican fighter is capable of throwing over 100 punches per round for an entire fight, and he’s accurate.

Inoue suffered a broken nose, a cut, and a cracked cheekbone in his fight with Donaire. The shots that Donaire was hitting Inoue with was breaking his face apart. If Inoue has weak facial bones, he’s going to look like a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces against Navarrete.

Inoue would take a beating against Navarrete, and likely wind up with a lot of injuries before getting stopped.

Image: Emanuel Navarrete wants Naoya Inoue, believes he'll beat him

Emanuel moving to 126

‘I don’t have anything to do at 122 anymore,” said Navarrete. “I was always looking for [big] fights, I wanted to unify, but nobody raised their hands, and begging is not the case.

“There are good fights in the 126 and if it is not an interesting fight like a unification or the fight with Inoue, I think it would be better for me to show that we can be successful in 126,” Navarrete added.

Navarrete might as well permanently move up 126 and forget about Inoue because that fight has zero chance of taking place. I could be wrong, but I don’t Inoue wants any part of Navarrete. He’s too big, too strong and too dangerous. Inoue is better off fighting 118-pounders.

At featherweight, Navarrete will be able to face these guys:

  • Josh Warrington
  • Gary Russell Jr
  • Shakur Stevenson
  • Can Xu

I think Inoue and his management realize that it would be a bad idea to face Navarrete, so they won’t bother making this fight.

Even the bantamweight division is risky for Inoue now because he’s fragile. Donaire wants a rematch with Inoue, and he’s shown a lot of desire to get back in the ring with him. A second fight with Donaire is likely to be just as damaging to Inoue as the first one.

Inoue was lucky that he was able to dodge many of Donaire’s hug left hooks he was throwing in the fight because they had knockout intentions written all over them. Inoue didn’t get out of the way of all of Donaire’s shots. Hence, the broken nose, cut eye, and a fractured cheekbone.


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