By Dan Ambrose: Oscar Valdez says he wants a rematch with WBO super featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete after losing a wide twelve round unanimous decision against him last Saturday night at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
It would be a wrong career move on Valdez’s part to fight Navarrete again because he’s still capable of capturing a world title at 130 when fighting someone that is a natural super featherweight division and not a boiled-down welterweight, who is capable of making the weight for the division in Navarrete.
Some would argue that the fight wasn’t close enough for it to be worth having a rematch, as the Navarrete (38-1, 31 KOs), using his massive welterweight-sized frame after rehydrating, was way too big for the tiny featherweight-sized Valdez for a second fight to be any different.
Tim Bradley doesn’t see any point in a rematch, as he points out that Navarrete looked like he hadn’t even been in a fight afterward. His face was completely unmarked, without any bruising, cuts, or scratches.
In contrast, the 31-year-old former two-division world champion Valdez looked in bad, with a swollen shut & cut right eye and swelled nose, which may be broken, and mouth bleeding.
Bradley says, “Do we need a rematch?” Definitely not. The huge-looking Navarrete will be too big for Valdez no matter how many times they fight, and that will not change.
It’s admirable that Navarrete is able to boil down from welterweight to fight at 130, but he needs to fight in a weight class that is designed for his frame.
Instead of running it back, Navarrete needs to fight someone his own size from this list of fighters from the welterweight division:
- Jaron Ennis
- Vergil Ortiz Jr
- Eimantas Stanionis
- Errol Spence Jr
- Terence Crawford
- Keith Thurman
Top Rank obviously won’t put Navarrete in with those guys because he’d lose without his size advantage. These would be far better options for Navarrete to fight next rather than a needless rematch with Valdez:
- Vasily Lomachenko
- Shakur Stevenson
- Robeisy Ramirez
- Raymond Muratalla
- Gary Antuanne Russell
- Subriel Matias
- William Zepeda
Should Valdez rematch Navarrete?
- Emanuel Navarrete: 216 of 1038 for a 21% connect rate
- Oscar Valdez: 140 of 426 for a 32% connect rate
Oscar Valdez: “He’s a warrior. I tried my best is all I can say,” said Valdez last Saturday night when interviewed by ESPN following his disappointing loss to WBO super featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete.
“I’m sorry to disappoint all the people that came to support me. I feel terrible,” Valdez continued. “I hope to do it again.”
Erik Morales: “I told you that it was going to take three or four rounds to figure things out, and then Navarrete was able to establish his range, Erik said to ESPN. “Every time Oscar Valdez would try to get inside, he would make him pay.
“There were those exchanges that had fans sitting on the edge of their seats in a fight that will go down as one of the best.”
Marco Antonio Barrera: “I think Oscar had a lot of heart, but even though he was the better boxer coming in, he didn’t use the resources at his disposal. One example is when he was trying to throw the hook to the body, he would lunge in, and that would allow Navarrete to catch him coming in.
“Navarrete was bigger & stronger, and it looked like he had two [sets of] lungs in there. His conditioning, his strength, managing distance, stepping back, and being able to connect every single time, was a great performance from these warriors.”
Joe Tessitore: “The conditioning down the stretch and the volume punching down the stretch. What he [Navarrete] did in the last three rounds, just glancing at the CompuBox stats. In the tenth round, Emanuel Navarrete threw 120 punches.
“He comes back in the eleventh round and throws 91 punches, and keeping in mind that in the ninth round, he has an injured right hand that he’s not using. He wasn’t throwing the right hand, and then all of a sudden in the twelfth round, he throws 101 punches, he lands 34, and all 34 were power punches.”
Mark Kriegel: “The triple-digit CompuBox stats, the busted hand, and the apology from Oscar Valdez. Hey Oscar, you’re a gentleman. You don’t have to apologize for anything. Also, this week did make me realize that is missing something that is missing from boxing.
“You don’t get to that special place alone. You do it in tandem. You need an antagonist, and I hope they can do it again with a healthy eye and a healthy hand.”
Tessitore: “The 119 scorecard is off. Mark had it 116-112 score; I agree with that. There was another judge that had it 116-112. So the twelfth round was a swing round. Let’s go 8-4 or 7-5. The right guy won by a unanimous decision.
“I made a comment before the scorecards. This feels like the first fight of a trilogy. I feel like the fighters did too post-fight because when you say, ‘I’ll leave it up to the fans.’ You know what the fans want. They want that each & every time.”
Tim Bradley: “Well, I can tell you this. Watching the fight and seeing Valdez make adjustments, and seeing Navarrete make his adjustments.
“Navarrete taking Valdez’s best punch, which is a left hook, and took it well and kept his hand at home. What else can Valdez do in a rematch? Think about that. You look at his face.”
Tessitore: “Well, if he has a healthy eye.”
Bradley: “I’m just saying. You look at his face, and then you look at Navarrete’s face. Everybody at home is probably thinking the fight was close but look at Navarrete’s face. He don’t even look like he was in a fight.”
Tessitore: “He was the winner.”
Bradley: “Look at his face. He wasn’t even in a fight, and look at Valdez right there. Think about that. Do we need a rematch? I would love to see it, but I don’t know.”
Tessitore: “You don’t want to see that level of action?”
Bradley: “I want to see it, but I don’t want to see Valdez have to go through that again. It was a tremendous fight, but I’ve been Valdez. I know how that feels.”
Tessitore: “You give it a month, a month and a half, and then you make a decision on your career.”
Kriegel: “I can tell you hypothetically in the rational world. The first four rounds, I had all going to Navarrete.”
Tessitore: “At the highest level of boxing, at the very highest level, you are not watching sports. You are watching a movie; you are watching drama; you are watching real life play out in the form of a sport.”
Kriegel: “You are watching a story in a life shift in a dramatic and the most difficult way in real-time. What you’re seeing there is what you saw with Vasily Lomachenko weeping after Devin Haney. You throw your heart and your soul in this. You’re going to weep.”