Home Boxing News Emanuel Navarrete climbs off canvas to stop Liam Wilson in the ninth,...

Emanuel Navarrete climbs off canvas to stop Liam Wilson in the ninth, claims WBO 130-pound strap

Emanuel Navarrete and Liam Wilson trade punches. Photo credit: Getty Images

Mexico’s Emanuel ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete 37-1 (31) had to draw on all of his veteran experience to get past gutsy Australian Liam ‘Mr Damage’ Wilson 11-2 (7) at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday night.

Navarrete, 28, was attempting to become a three-division world champion after previously claimed the WBO title at super bantamweight and featherweight. He was ultimately successful, but he had to climb off the canvas to do it.

The 26-year-old Wilson was a prohibitive underdog going into the bout, but he didn’t look out of his depth in the first two rounds. In the third Navarrete gain the ascendancy and continued to have success in the fourth untl the visiting fighter’s vaunted left hook stunned him late in the round.

Wilson jumped on Navarrete immediately, bludgeoning him to the canvas. As he was getting to his feet, he spat out his mouthpiece. Referee Chris Flores administered the mandatory eight count, made him walk towards him to check that he was okay, then replaced the mouthpiece.

In what can only be described as veteran guile, Navarrete fiddled with his mouthpiece and gained precious extra seconds to recover. In all, the time from the knockdown to the action resuming was almost 30 seconds.

Navarrete didn’t appear to be fully recovered in the fifth but true to form, he tried to slug his way out of trouble. In the sixth he appeared to be back in control before a Wilson right hand rocked him again, but the underdog was unable to follow up with anything significant.

As the rounds rolled on Navarette kept up a hectic pace while switch-hitting Wilson began to wilt. The beginning of the end occurred early in the ninth when a right cross sent Wilson crashing to the canvas. Although he beat the count, there was more than two minutes left on the clock and try as he might, he was unable to keep Navarrete off him.

At 1:57 referee Flores stepped in to stop Wilson from receiving further punishment.

“I’m made of strength, power, heart, and that Mexican spirit that never lets me down,” Navarrete said after the fight.

“Liam is a great warrior. He came here to win and landed that great shot on me and it stunned. But I was able to settle myself down and once that happened, I was able to get the victory.”

“This was an amazing victory because it tested me. I needed to know I was capable of going to the canvas, getting up and coming out the victor, and now I know I’m capable of doing that and in great fashion.”

Wilson was gracious in defeat, but questioned the count in the fourth round.

“Tonight I came up a bit short and I’m disappointed, but I knocked him down in the fourth round and I believe the count was a bit long,” Wilson said.

“We’ll have to review it. I thought I won the fight in that sense, because I thought it was about a 20-second count. I want to come back. I love to fight, I love challenges and I’ll fight another champion any day of the week.

“He’s a tough champion, all due respect to him. This is boxing and stuff happens. But all credit to him, I hope he goes on to do great things. I’ll be back, make no mistake about it. I love these hard fights. You won’t see me in an easy fight.”

Wilson replaced original Navarette opponent Oscar Valdez 30-1 (23), who was forced to withdraw from the bout after suffering injuries to his hand and ribs in a fall.

Valdez joined Navarrete in the ring after the fight.

“We want an Erik Morales vs Marco Antonio Barrera (style) fight again, and I think ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete’s style and my style would be a perfect,” Valdez said. “We want to fight. Let’s make it happen.”