In his first fight outside of his native Mexico Emanuel Navarrete 26-1 (22) showed little nerves as he outworked WBO super bantamweight champion Isaac ‘Royal Storm’ Dogboe 20-1 (14) over 12 rounds to win a unanimous decision at the Hulu Theater in New York’s famed Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
Two of the judges scored the fight 116-112 for the Mexican, while the third had it marginally closer at 115-113 in the main support bout to the lightweight title unification bout between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jose Pedraza.
To win the world championship was music to Navarrete’s ears.
“Hearing those words [“and new world champion”] was the culmination of a dream, a culmination of all the hard work and all the sacrifices that I have made,” said Navarrete through an interpreter after the fight.
“Thanks to Isaac Dogboe. I knew I’d have to be at my best.”
Dogboe was one of the breakthrough stars of 2018. After winning the interim WBO title against Mexican veteran Cesar Juarez by fifth round knockout in January the former 2012 Olympian backed up with an 11th round stoppage of Jessie Magdaleno for the full title in April.
In August he blew away Japan’s Hidenori Otake in a single round to solidify his credentials as one of the rising stars of the sport.
Dogboe, 24, was gracious in defeat.
“It was a great fight and Emanuel Navarrete fought like a true Mexican warrior,” said Dogobe after the fight.
“Champions are supposed to keep going under any circumstance but I just couldn’t get the victory. The best man won tonight.”
Despite being the taller man by five-inches, Navarrete often fought like the shorter man as he looked to take the fight inside. By the mid-rounds Dogboe’s face was visibly swelling and despite the champion’s best efforts, it was too little too late.
Navarrete, 23, said the victory didn’t come without a cost.
“I had hurt my right hand early in the fight but I had the desire to be champion and I did everything necessary to get the title,” he said. “I am very happy and proud to achieve this goal of being the world champion.”
CompuBox punch statistics had Navarrete landing 221 of 804 total punches for a connect rate of 28 percent, while Dogboe found a home for 176 of his total punch count of 686 at 26 percent.