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Emanuel Navarrete calls for unification following fifth successful title defence

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBO super bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete 31-1 (27) defended his title for the fifth time with an 11th round knockout victory of Jeo Santisima 19-3 (16) on the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.

“As I said during the build-up to the fight, I was coming for another knockout victory, and I got it,” Navarrete said through an interpreter after the fight.

“It took me a little more time than expected. I hurt him a couple of times during the fight, but I got to give it to him; he is a real Filipino warrior. He took a lot of punches and didn’t go down.

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“I hurt my right thumb trying to knock him out, but I knew I was close to stopping him, so I had to keep going.”

The 25-year-old Mexican, who has now made five title defences in nine months, said his goal is to unify the titles or move up in weight.

“This is my fifth successful defense of the world title. Now I want a unification fight,” Navarrete said.

“I’ll look at my options, but if I don’t get it soon, I’ll probably move to 126 pounds to challenge the champions at featherweight.”

Navarrete controlled the action against Santisima, landing 36% of the 992 punches he threw compared to 21% of 307 for the challenger according to CompuBox.

The champion also outlanded Santisima in power shots 274 to 55.

Navarrete upped the pressure with each passing round and appeared on the verge of a stoppage in the 10th but couldn’t put his man away.

In the 11th round Navarrete continued the punishment, forcing referee Russell Mora to step in and call a halt to the contest at the 2:20 mark just as Santisima’s corner was throwing in the towel.

“Navarrete is a great champion, and I gave it my all to bring a world title back to the Philippines. I came up short, but I can hold my head high,” Santisima said.

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