Emanuel Navarrete – Joet Gonzalez on Oct.16th

By Boxing News - 08/27/2021 - Comments

By Jim Maltzman: WBO featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete will be defending his title against #1 contender Joet Gonzalez on October 16th. The venue for the fight has yet to be decided.

The 26-year-old ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete (34-1, 29 KOs) and Gonzalez (24-1, 14 KOs) has agreed to terms for a fight that will be shown on ESPN+, according to Mike Coppinger.

It’s not the fight that boxing fans are hoping to see between Navarrete and Shakur Stevenson, but Top Rank has different trajectories for both of those young stars.

There’s no point in the promotional company letting Stevenson and Navarrete fight right now because the match needs to marinate for two to four years before making the most money. Hopefully, neither of them gets beaten before then.

We saw Top Rank miss out on what would have been a huge fight between Juan Manuel Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa a decade ago when they let the fight marinate too long, and Juanma wound up getting stopped by Orlando Salido in the 8th round in April 2011.

Image: Emanuel Navarrete - Joet Gonzalez on Oct.16th

That was back when Gamboa and Lopez were both in their primes, winning world titles and still looking invincible.

Joet Gonalez, 27, looked completely overmatched in losing a wide 12 round unanimous decision to Shakur Stevenson in October 2019.

That was a step-up fight for Gonzalez, and he was totally overmatched against Shakur, who fought like he was taking it easy on him by staying in first gear the entire fight.

Since that loss, Joet has fought just once in the last two years, beating former three-time world title challenger Miguel Marriaga by a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision 11 months ago in September 2020.

There are arguably better fights out there for Navarrete than Joet Gonzalez, but it’s understandable why Top Rank is making this one.

It’s an easy one for them to make, and casual boxing fans will remember Joet from his fight with Stevenson, even though he looked terrible.

Unfortunately, Joet hasn’t been active in the last two years because he needs to put distance behind him and his embarrassingly one-sided loss to Shakur.

Also, Joet is too young to be fighting once every two years unless he doesn’t care about his career. It’s going to be extremely tough for Joet to deal with the talent of Navarrete with the ring rust he has, and it’s possible we could see a knockout in this fight.

Navarrete has turned himself into a mini-star since 2018, beating Isaac Dogboe twice to capture the WBO super bantamweight division and successfully defending it six times before vacating the strap in 2020.

Last year, Navarrete captured the vacant WBO featherweight title with a 12 round decision win over the talented Ruben Villa in what turned out to be arguably the toughest fight of his nine-year professional career.

In Navarrete’s first defense, he defeated the heavy-handed Christopher Diaz by a 12tth round knockout last April.