It’s hard not to sound like complaining, when there’s anything negative to say about “any boxing happening at all,” versus the months-long “none.” There’s nothing that can be done about it. You just have to mix in the small pleasures you unearth.
Saturday’s 11 p.m. (!) ESPN card was headlined by Emanuel Navarrete. That’s a good thing! Navarrete is a dope fighter. He is busy and accurate and deceptively skilled and usually knocks folk out. Book it. That’s one small pleasure. Just know that a sizable “but” is coming here…
Ostensibly, we might have learned something about Navarrete, a gigantic junior featherweight struggling to make 122 pounds, fighting at featherweight. Check out that word: ostensibly. Navarrete’s 6th round KO has layers of no-information-obtained, coming at it did as the precise moment he cared to get it. His opponent, Uriel Lopez, wasn’t of any note, save that it was nice how he came forward and wasn’t scared. Beyond his record, though, you have to keep in mind that Lopez was himself a junior featherweight, mostly. This wasn’t waters tested. It was waters treaded.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing that Navarrete took what amounted to a stay-busy fight here. Navarrete is the kind of guy who probably benefits from staying active, which means he’ll probably be sharp next time he steps in against anyone who might tell us something. Book small pleasure number two.
The remaining small pleasures, because there wasn’t a fight of any import on this card besides (“fringe contenderr” Carlos Ornelas got “upset” but, nah):
This card probably set the world record for fight cards featuring guys named “Palomares.”
The whole thing where ESPN had elderly people and children sending in clips of them clapping and them broadcasting them on a big screen during the fights was somewhat amusing, if equally distracting.
The opening bout got changed from eight rounds to six mid-fight. Changing the rules of the game mid-competition is the kind of thing you expect from your five-year-old cousin when she’s losing in a vicious match of Candyland, not the kind of thing a professional sporting organization ought to do, so that was grimly funny in the “only in boxing” way.
Oh and somebody named Sergio Sanchez scored one ultra-rude knockout. Go to about 6:25 here.
(Photo Emanuel Navarrete beats up Uriel Lopez; via)