Emanuel Navarrete capped off what was a productive 2019 campaign by halting Francisco Horta in four rounds at the Auditorio GNP Seguros in Puebla, Mexico.
In the fourth defense of his WBO 122-pound belt, Navarrete (30-1, 25 KOs) once again showed that while he’s not a textbook fighter from a technical standpoint, he can still overwhelm his foes with a high volume of punches that come from all directions. While they are often of the cuffing and slapping variety, it’s very difficult to evade every single oncoming punch — as Horta found out Saturday.
Eventually, you will be drowned in leather.
Which is precisely what happened to Horta (20-4-1, 10 KOs), who was able to come out of the first three rounds relatively unscathed but then was hit with an avalanche of shots in the fourth round. While he did his best to overcome Navarrete’s nonstop swarming attack, he simply could not survive the round as the fight was waved off at 2:09 in the fourth.
Navarrete, 24, is a fighter on the rise; he was relatively unknown before he challenged the highly regarded Isaac Dogboe last year for the title. Since that point, he has defeated Dogboe (TKO in 12) in a rematch and then scored stoppages over Francisco DeVaca (KO in 3) and Juan Miguel Elorde (TKO in 4) in subsequent bouts before this weekend.
“I feel very happy to have been able to defend my title in front of my people,” Navarrete said. “[Sunday] will be my one-year anniversary as a world champion, and I can’t be happier with everything I achieved this year. It was a very productive 2019.”
IBF junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (32-1-2, 22 KOs), meanwhile, made the eighth successful defense of his title by halting Miguel Gonzalez (31-2, 8 KOs) in six rounds.
It was a determined effort from the Filipino southpaw, who right away stuck close to the challenger on the inside and continually chipped away at his body and mixed in the occasional left uppercut and right hook that softened up Gonzalez. In the past, the 27-year-old Ancajas could be accused of lacking a certain type of intensity during his fights, but that certainly wasn’t the case Saturday.
In the sixth, Ancajas hurt Gonzalez and then followed up with a barrage of punches that overwhelmed him. While he was never officially knocked down, referee Wayne Hedgepeth called off the fight as Gonzalez was being strafed by the two-handed attack of Ancajas at 1:53 of the round.
“I want to thank God for giving me the strength to win this fight and defend my title for an eighth time. I am happy to bring glory to my country, and I want to continue doing so for a long time,” said Ancajas, who has reigned as a 115-pound belt-holder since 2016 but has yet to truly leave his mark on the division.
His aim is to soon tangle with the likes of fellow champions like Juan Francisco Estrada, Khalid Yafai and Kazuto Ioka in the upcoming year.
“In 2020, I will be prepared for what my team and Top Rank have planned for me. I want to unify titles,” Ancajas said.