Oscar Valdez will make Emanuel Navarrete pay for his mistakes says Tim Bradley

By Boxing News - 02/04/2023 - Comments

By Adam Baskin: Tim Bradley says he believes that Oscar Valdez will make the sloppy Emanuel Navarrete pay for all the mistakes he made in Friday night’s fight against Liam Wilson at the Desert Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

The former two-division world champion Valdez had a smile on his face as he watched Navarrete (37-1, 31 KOs) struggle mightily in the early rounds, getting dropped in the 4th, hurt in the 6th, and needing to rally in the second half of the fight to pull out a win in the ninth round.

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Navarrete landed 152 of 453 punches for a 34% connect rate. For his part, Wilson landed 97 of 388 for a 25% connect rate.

“The punch stats are overwhelmingly in favor of Navarrete,” said Joe Tessitore. ”

“Sometimes when you land a big shot, and he landed a big shot with a left hook,  but he was just depending upon it,” said Tim Bradley to ESPN+ about Liam Wilson, who was throwing nothing but left hooks all night against Emanuel Navarrete.

“He kept sitting & waiting. He could have piled up points and softened up Navarrete to the body, but he insisted on landing that one punch against that dropped Navarrete. That was an issue as well,” said Bradley about Wilson being one-dimensional.

“There was a world title on the line, there were multiple knockdowns, there was a massive amount of power punches, and there was blood,” said Joe Tessitore. “There were guys that were in serious danger of the fight ending at any moment.

“This is at the top of the list for the ‘Fight of the Year,’ and it’s only February. It may not hold up, but it’s right there,” said Tessitore.

“I want to see that knockdown, and I want to see that sequence shortly after that because I want to tell you something. Navarrete did a veteran move. He knew he was hurt, so what did he do? He spit out his mouthpiece,” said Bradley.

“The mouthpiece gave him extra time, there is no doubt,” said Tessitore about Navarrete spitting out the mouthpiece in the fourth round after being dropped.”

“It was crazy.  He was having a conversation with the referee. ‘Don’t you have to wash it off with water?'” said Bradley about Navarrete speaking to the referee after he’d been dropped & spit out his mouthpiece.

He wanted the referee to wash off his mouthpiece before putting it back in, which would have further delayed the restart of the action.

“He was trying to buy him some time. I understand what Liam is saying,” said Bradley. “Veteran move right there. Oh my goodness,” said Bradley about Navarrete spitting his mouthpiece out.

“The referee has put it back in his mouth the wrong way,” said Tessitore. “So he took advantage of that. His legs weren’t under him even then.”


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“Valuable seconds,” said Andre Ward.

“They were valuable seconds,” said Tessitore.

“Yes, they are. Unbelievable. What did I learn tonight about Navarrete going up to 130?” said Bradley. “I learned his punching power. He still has it, but it’s going to take a little more time for him to soften up his opponents.

“If he gets in there with a big puncher at 130, someone that is technically sound. I do have the name, Oscar Valdez,” said Bradley.

“Valdez had a big smile on his face throughout that fight,” said Tessitore about Oscar Valdez.

“All those mistakes this man [Navarrete] makes, a guy as sharp as Oscar Valdez will make him pay for that,” said Bradley. “On the return fire, Oscar Valdez is going to be in a firefight with him, and it’s still dangerous for him.

“It’s dangerous because he has heavy enough hands to make the fight interesting,” said Bradley.

“He breaks every rule stylistically, but he knew what to do right there,” said Mark Kriegel about Navarrete.  “The other really interesting part is that when everyone was going to pieces around him, ‘Hey, relax.'”