Emanuel Navarrete vs Liam Wilson fight analysis
Mexican ‘Vaquero’ faces Aussie challenger on February 3
On February 3rd, two-weight world champion Emanuel Navarrete (36-1, 30KO) will attempt to become a three-weight titlist as he challenges for the vacant WBO World super-featherweight title against Australian Liam Wilson (11-1, 7KO).
From San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico, Navarrete won the WBO junior super-bantamweight crown from Isaac Dogboe in December 2018 and made five defences within a nine-month span, making him the busiest reigning world champion and earning him the nickname ‘Iron Man’.
Navarrete out-hustled Ruben Villa to win the vacant WBO featherweight strap in October 2020 and has since defended that title three times.
He returned to the ring in August, rebounding from a slow start to knock out countryman Eduardo Baez with a brutal body shot in the sixth round. The Baez win marked Navarrete’s 31st consecutive victory dating back to 2012. His sole loss was in the Cinturón de Oro XVIII tournament over four-rounds to Daniel Argueta, but young Navarette was named champion as his opponent didn’t show to the weigh-in.
Wilson, from Caboolture, Australia, is the WBO #3 contender. He has never fought outside of his home country but will take the 8,000-mile journey hoping to spring a major upset.
The 26-year-old from queensland stepped up to fight Navarrete after Oscar Valdez suffered a training injury and enters the fight with momentum on his side.
After a surprise fifth-round TKO loss to WBO Asia Pacific titlist Joe Noynay in July 2021, Wilson gained revenge in March to settle the score with a second-round knockout courtesy of his “left hook from hell.”
He kept the momentum going in June with a 10-round unanimous decision over former world title challenger Matias Rueda. He was taking into the trenches in that championship cntest but fought valiantly to win the WBO International strap.
Navarrete is one of the sport’s premier offensive fighters, an aggressor who wings in punches from all angles. In his October 2021 title defense over Joet Gonzalez, he threw 979 punches over 12 rounds, including 104 in the 12th round.
He hits hard and can take it as well as dish it out. Baez caught him a few times during their slugfest but he didn’t flinch an inch.
Liam Wilson is similar to Navarrete in that he also possesses a swift, stinging straight right hand, and has a lovely left hook that can knock opponents out in a flash. His best work comes on the inside when he can sink in that left hook to the body, and he can switch from orthodox to southpaw and has scored knockdowns in both stances.
Navarrete is the clear favourite to win at 1/20, with Wilson an outsider at 9/1. The odds for a draw are 25-1.
Wilson was floored four times and stopped by Joe Noynay, who isn’t known for being a big puncher. Full credit to him for avenging that loss in such clinical fashion though.
For me, Navarette will be way too much for Wilson. The two-weight champion will be too experienced and powerful for the Aussie in just his 13th bout and he’ll be fighting away from home for the first time in his career.
Eight from his last 10 bouts have ended via KO, so I expect this fight to go the same way. If Navarrete starts fast then I expect the knockout to come to within the first six rounds.