EMANUEL NAVARRETE maintained the activity characteristic of his career when he returned to action at the TV Azteca’s studio in Mexico City on Saturday (June 20). He was not defending his WBO super-bantamweight title, moving up to 127lbs to stop Uriel Lopez inside six rounds.
Navarrete advances to 32-1 (27), while tipping Lopez, who also weighed 127lbs, into having a losing record at 13-14-1 (6).
“I have the utmost respect for Uriel Lopez. He put forth a courageous effort, but I was coming to win by knockout,” Navarrete said. “I want to unify titles, but if nobody accepts my challenge, I’ll move up to featherweight.”
This was part of Top Rank’s sequence of small shows as the promotion brings the sport out of its coronavirus shutdown. Their Covid 19 precautions saw the Jose Pedraza-Mikkel LesPierre bout called off after LesPierre’s manager tested positive for coronavirus.
In similar circumstances Mikaela Mayer had been forced out of her June 10 scheduled bout after a positive coronavirus test, although she later revealed that she’d discovered that to have been a false positive.
Pedraza-LesPierre was slated to be the main event of Top Rank’s Thursday (June 18) show. Gabriel Flores took their slot inside ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand Arena. He dropped Josec Ruiz in the second round on his way to a unanimous 10-round points decision, winning 100-89 for all three judges. Flores remains an unbeaten 18-0 (6), Ruiz dipping to 21-3-3 (14). Both weighed 132½lbs.
“I see a world title in the next 12 months,” Flores predicted for himself. “That’s my goal, but we have to see what’s out there first. I’m training in Vegas now, and the sparring and training out here has helped elevate my game.”