Two-Weight King: Emanuel Navarrete Decisions Ruben Villa to Win Featherweight World Title

Two-Weight King: Emanuel Navarrete Decisions Ruben Villa to Win Featherweight World Title

New weight class, same buzzsaw. Former junior featherweight world champion Emanuel Navarrete defeated Ruben Villa via unanimous decision (115-111 and 114-112 2X) to win the vacant WBO featherweight world title Friday evening from the MGM Grand Las Vegas Conference Center.

Navarrete (33-1, 28 KOs), who made five defenses of his WBO junior featherweight world title, is now a two-weight world champion.

Navarrete knocked down Villa in the first and fourth rounds to build a healthy lead on the scorecards. Villa (18-1, 5 KOs), a slick southpaw boxer, did not have the power to keep the all-pressure Navarrete honest. He did, however, find a rhythm in the fight’s closing stages and nearly did enough in the minds of the judges to salvage a draw.

Navarrete said, “I knew that Villa was a fighter that moved a lot, and I knew that he was going to move even more once he felt my power. I didn’t get the knockout, but I got the victory.

“I’m very happy with this championship. It’s a reflection of all the sacrifices and all the hard work I put in. I conquered my second weight class because of all that hard work.

“I have my sights set on all the world champions at 126. I would love to face {Josh} Warrington. I think that our styles will make for a great fight.”

Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

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