Home Boxing News Liam Wilson out to make a statement after watching Emanuel Navarrete put...

Liam Wilson out to make a statement after watching Emanuel Navarrete put paid to Oscar Valdez challenge

Liam Wilson lands on Emanuel Navarrete. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Liam Wilson 11-2 (7) always knew he was world class, but last weekend just proved it.

The 27-year-old super featherweight contender from Caboolture in Queensland, Australia was an interested observer last weekend when WBO 130-pound champion Emanuel ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete 38-1 (31) successfully defended his belt against two-time Olympian and former two weight world champion Oscar Valdez 31-2 (23) at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

Navarrete entered the all-Mexican showdown as the underdog but fought anything like it. He gained control early in the fight and finished the fight the stronger of the two, dictating the action for long periods with his unorthodox angles and high workrate to win a unanimous decision by scores of 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112.

It was an impressive showing and Wilson was as impressed as anyone – with good reason.

That’s because Wilson holds the distinction of going closer than anyone to beating the 28-year-old Navarrete in 12 world championship fights spanning three weight classes and almost five years.

Back in February Wilson faced Navarrete on short notice at the same venue, stepping in for the injured Valdez. It was a big step up in competition for Wilson but he didn’t look out of sorts, hanging tough with Navarrete before decking him heavily in the fourth round.

In the chaos that followed a clearly hurt Navarrete spat out his mouthpiece and referee Chris Flores lost control of the bout, allowing the favourite a full 28 seconds to recover from the blow that sent him sprawling.

Wilson would go on to lose the bout by ninth-round knockout while trailing 75-76 and 74-77 twice on the cards, but the nature of the loss only convinced him that he has what it takes to compete at the highest level.

The result of the Navarrete vs Valdez fight only reinforced that to him.

“I know what I did against Navarrete, and that was exceptional, but to see Valdez’s performance against him – and Valdez is good, tough opposition – but watching that fight, I couldn’t help but compare myself,” Wilson said to CODE Sports. “Look at his (Valdez’s) power against my power.

“It didn’t seem like Navarrete was even flinching at his shots, whereas I knocked him down in the fourth and hurt him really badly in the sixth.

“I felt like I gave him more resistance and put more fear into him. I feel I did better than (Valdez) across the whole board, so all that fight has done is excite me for a rematch.”

Wilson will be having his first fight back since the Navarrete loss when he takes on 25-year-old Argentinean Carlos ‘Junior’ Alanis 12-0 (4) over 10 rounds in a nationally televised card from the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, Australia next Wednesday night.

It’s a clever bit of matchmaking by his promoter No Limit Boxing with Wilson currently ranked number six in the world at super featherweight by the WBO while Alanis sits at number 13.

“I’m coming to make a statement, because that Navarrete-Valdez fight last week has made me even more pumped,” Wilson continued.

“I’m a big puncher and if I use my boxing skills, it will result in a decisive win or a big knockout.

“Navarrete knows I’m coming. He’ll know watching back (on our fight) that it was a long count and that the referee favoured him.

“But he knows I’m right there still. I’m number six in the world and only a few fights away from getting that shot.

“And I’m only going in one direction and that’s towards his world title.”