TUCSON, Arizona — Emanuel Navarrete defeated Isaac Dogboe by TKO in Round 12 to retain his WBO junior featherweight world title — the same belt he won in his first fight against Dogboe in December — at the Tucson Convention Center on Saturday.
While Dogboe was better prepared for the rematch with Navarrete, he simply could not deal with Navarrete’s length, reach and work rate.
From the beginning, Dogboe (20-2, 14 KOs), put up a more spirited effort by crowding Navarrete (27-1, 23 KOs), who at 5-foot-7 enjoyed a 5-inch advantage in height over Dogboe. But Navarrete was more than comfortable on the inside and met the oncoming charges of Dogboe with an array of whipping uppercuts and straight right hands.
Navarrete hurt Dogboe in the second round and just steadily outworked him the rest of the fight. While Dogboe had pockets of success, landing several hard right hands on Navarrete, he was never truly able to hurt him.
Dogboe showed plenty of heart in fighting into the late rounds, but it was obvious that this simply would not be his night against Navarrete, who was able to neutralize the attack of Dogboe.
After going to the canvas in the sixth round from the steady onslaught of Navarrete, Dogboe was staggered again in the ninth round, and in the 11th his knees buckled from a left uppercut as he was in a neutral corner. In the 12th, a final barrage of punches sent Dogboe to the canvas again. His spirit had been willing throughout, but his body had given out by this point and his corner decided to stop the fight.
“It really surprised me that he took so many hard shots, but at the same time, he continued to throw strong punches,” Navarrete said after the fight. “I want to thank Dogboe because he gave me the opportunity to become a world champion, and now in this second fight, he gave me the opportunity to demonstrate that my first triumph wasn’t by accident and that there is a reason why I have the title.
“And to all the fighters at 122 pounds, I tell them that if they want my title, then they can come and try and take it.”
Dogboe expects to continue fighting, just not as a junior featherweight.
“Making super bantamweight is getting too difficult,” Dogboe said. “My next fight, I will be moving up to [featherweight]. I will be much more comfortable there.
“All the credit to Navarrete. I thank him for giving me the opportunity to regain my title. It just didn’t go my way tonight. I will be back at featherweight in a big way.”
Mykal Fox defeated Fazliddin Gaibnazarov by unanimous decision in an ugly and awkward affair that had the fans at the convention center booing at the conclusion. Fox (20-1, 5 KOs), who is very tall for a junior welterweight at 6-4, never allowed Gaibnazarov (7-1, 4 KOs) to get comfortable, and his head proved to be an elusive target with his unusual dimensions. Fox never came close to hurting Gaibnazarov, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist for Uzbekistan, but he was the much busier fighter. Fox was ruled the winner by the scores of 96-92 (twice) and 95-93.
Carlos Castro (23-0, 9 KOs) remained undefeated with a unanimous-decision victory over Mauro Diaz by the scores of 100-89 (twice) and 98-91. Diaz (18-3, 7 KOs) was sent to the canvas by a short left hook in the second round and had issues stopping Castro’s left hand, but throughout this bout he was able to hang in there and land his share of counterpunches. Unfortunately, it wasn’t nearly enough to match the overall work rate of Castro.
“We knew it was a tough fight, and that’s why we prepared so hard for this battle,” Castro said. “My next step is to keep working hard and to move closer to a world title shot. I love fighting in front of my home-state fans. The fans in Tucson are special.”
Miguel Marriaga (28-3, 24 KOs) stopped Ruben Cervera (10-2, 9 KOs) in Round 3 of their action-packed bout. Marriaga, who has challenged twice for world titles at 126 and 130 pounds, floored Cervera twice with left hooks to the body in the second round. In the third, Cervera sent Marriaga to the canvas during a heated exchange. Marriaga dusted himself off and continued his withering body attack until Cervera decided not to continue after Round 3.
Manny Guajardo (5-0) defeated Jonathan Espino (2-4, 2 KOs) by unanimous decision in an evenly matched four-round middleweight contest. It what was a back-and-forth battle that saw both men land their share of leather. But it was Tucson’s Guajardo who came out ahead on the scorecards by the tallies of 38-38, 39-37 and 40-36.
In the first bout of the night, junior welterweight Miguel Parra (17-1-1, 12 KOs) made quick work of David Morales (13-11, 13 KOs), flooring Morales with a straight right hand in the first. While Morales was able to survive the round, his corner waved off the fight before the beginning of the second. The fight was ruled a first-round TKO for Parra.