In a move that he could soon regret, Emanuel “El Vaquero” Navarrete has chosen to relinquish his WBO 126-lb title and will stay at super featherweight after capturing the World Boxing Council 130-lb belt last Friday night with a ninth round technical knockout over Liam Wilson in Glendale, Arizona.
Navarrete is starting to put on weight around his middle, and it may have become hard for him to make the 126-lb division because of the stubborn fat around his midsection.
The 28-year-old Navarrete (37-1, 31 KOs) and Oscar Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) are expected to fight next, but it might be a big mistake for ‘El Vaquero’ because he doesn’t possess the physique or the chin to campaign at 130.
Navarrete almost got knocked out by the unheralded Wilson and likely would have been if not for him spitting out his mouthpiece and given extra time to recover after he was dropped and badly hurt in round four by the Australian.
Navarrete’s statement on vacating WBO strap
“After closely analyzing the situation with my team, we have decided to keep the WBO junior lightweight title. I feel very happy with the three title defenses that I made at featherweight, but I am also convinced that my future is now at junior lightweight. We are going after the big fights at 130.
“I’m grateful for the support that I have always received from my promoter, Top Rank, and the WBO. I will now proudly carry and defend my junior lightweight belt.”
If things don’t work out for Navarrete at super featherweight, he’s going to need to consider getting a good nutritionist and personal trainer that can collectively help him trim back down to 126 to try and recapture his WBO 126-lb title.
The good news for Navarrete is Top Rank stable fighters Robeisy Romero and Isaac Dogboe are fighting for the vacant WBO featherweight title on April 1st at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
If Navarrete gets wiped out by Oscar Valdez and one or two other fighters at super featherweight, it should be a simple matter of him asking Top Rank to allow him to fight for his old 126-lb title against Robeisy or Dogboe to try and reclaim the belt.
Obviously, it won’t be easy for Navarrete to lose the weight, but it’s better than staying at 130 and continuing to get beaten.
The way Navarrete looked against Liam Wilson, his fighting style is too reckless for him to beat the top guys at 130, like Valdez, Joe Cordina, Rey Vargas, Hector Luis Garcia, and Shavkat Rakhimov.