Vasily Lomachenko = Ideal Next Opponent For Emanuel Navarrete
By Sam Volz: Vasily Lomachenko is the ideal next opponent for WBO super featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete to fight rather than facing the smaller, completely overmatched Oscar Valdez again in a pointless rematch.
Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KOs) has the skills to nullify the enormous size & work rate of Navarrete, who has a longer reach than many of the top welterweights.
Most boxing fans would agree that Lomachenko needs to move back down to super featherweight if he wants to prolong his career and become a world champion again.
He’s obviously too small for the 135-lb division, and he’s even smaller than fighters at 130, but at least in that weight class, it’s not as dramatic.
In Lomachenko’srecent fight against Devin Haney, it looked like he was fighting a full-blown welterweight.
Top Rank has limited options for opponents for Navarrete beyond throwing Valdez back in there with him for another two or three times in fights where the outcome will be predictable.
Lomachenko needs to move back down to 130 if he’s not going to fight Shakur Stevenson because he’s not going to get the rematch that he’s hoping for against Devin Haney, and Gervonta Davis will never fight him.
Navarrete made life miserable for the former two-division world champion Valdez (31-2, 23 KOs) last Saturday night, outworking him by a 2 to 1 margin in winning a twelve round unanimous decision.
Tim Bradley: “Do you know what it is? As fighters, we put everything into our training by putting our heart, soul, and sacrifice,” said Bradley to ESPN, talking about Oscar Valdez’s loss to Emanuel Navarrete. “You get in this fight expecting to win, and you want to win, you have hopes to win, and then you don’t win.
“So you can do everything right, but in this sport of boxing, it doesn’t matter. You can still lose. It’s part of it.”
Mark Kriegel: “You see the eye. The eye is closed, but the eye hurts a lot less than the heart. I can tell you how it could have been different. It took Oscar a while to figure out where these things were coming from, and in the fourth round, he did.
“If you look at the fight from the fourth round on, it’s basically an even-ish fight, but it changed after that fourth round. I thought that the onslaught. He’d never seen these shots before, and that’s why he fell behind on the scorecards.
Bradley: “The problem was the high guard. He’s a high guard killer, Navarrete. He finds the holes around the high guard. He split it with the uppercut often. Oscar would drop down. He’d hit him with an uppercut, and he’d come around with shots.
“That was the problem right there because when Oscar was using elusiveness and footwork, he was making Navarrete miss. He was able to control the pace, and he was able to get his offense off and avoid shots coming from Navarrete.
“Every time he [Valdez] stood there with his hands up high in that high guard, he took too much damage. ”
Joe Tessitore: “Do you know who consistently misses on Navarrete? Most of the boxing public. Right from his first world title shot against Dogboe.
“From the way he looks, from the way he fights, from the lack of fundamentals to what his body often looks like when he gets in the ring. The guy is excellent. He’s formless.”
Bernard Osuna: “He [Navarrete] did have a slow start. He used faints; he was defensively solid from the beginning. His variation, and he had a heavy hand, and when he had to go to that dark place, his right hand was hurt, and he admitted it to his cornerman, he did it.
“Back to Oscar Valdez. There were tears in his eyes. This loss in particular, stings more than the Shakur Stevenson fight because not only was it against the man that people said, ‘You are better than.’ You have the resources to beat him in different ways.”