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Emanuel Navarrete destroys overmatched Uriel Lopez, plans move up in weight

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 ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete 32-1 (28) has reiterated his desire to move up in weight if he can’t land the big fights at 122-pounds.

Undefeated Mexican Rey Vargas 34-0 (22) holds the WBC title at the weight while Uzbek southpaw Murodjon Akhmadaliev 8-0 (6) wrested the WBA and IBF straps from Daniel Roman 27-3-1 (10) in a barnburner in January.

Navarrete took a stay-busy fight at 127-pounds against journeyman Uriel ‘Yuca’ Lopez 13-14-1 (6) at the Gimnasio TV Azteca in Mexico City on Saturday night, knocking him out in six.

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The 25-year-old Mexican was in full control throughout the bout, carrying Lopez through the early rounds before knocking him down with body shots in the fifth and sixth rounds.

A right hand to the solar plexus did the damage in the sixth and although Lopez made it back to his feet, the referee mercifully stopped the one-sided bout.

Navarrete dominated as expected, landing an average of 32 of 95 punches per round. He closed the show in round six, landing 59 of 123 power punches versus the game but outgunned Lopez.

“I have the utmost respect for Uriel Lopez,” Navarrete said afterward. “He put forth a courageous effort, but I was coming to win by knockout.

“I want to unify titles, but if nobody accepts my challenge, I’ll move up to featherweight.”

The proposed move up in weight has been lauded by WBO president Paco Valcárcel, who said he would install Navarrete as the number one contender if he decides to move up to featherweight.

The current WBO 126-pound champion is young gun Shakur Stevenson 14-0 (8).

“If @vaqueronavarre1 [Emanuel Navarrete] decides to move up to 126 he will be #1 in that division, 3 possible opponents, [Michael] Conlan, Ruben Vila and [Jessie] Magdaleno if @ShakurStevenson move up,” Valcárcel wrote on Twitter.

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