The WBO has ordered super featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete to begin negotiations with interim champ Oscar Valdez for a rematch of their fight last year in August. The two fighters have 20 days to hammer a deal before a purse bid.

A Questionable Decision

It’s a pointless fight in many ways, as Navarrete (38-2-1, 31 KOs) defeated Valdez (32-2, 24 KOs) by a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision last year in Glendale, Arizona; The scores were 119–109, 118–110 and 116–112.

Navarrete used his high punch output and 72-inch reach to dominate the smaller Valvez, who couldn’t handle his size and nonstop punches. Navarrete looked like a welterweight after he rehydrated for the Valdez fight, and he had way too much size for the small 5’5 1/2″ fighter to handle.

What makes this fight even more silly is that Navarrete is coming off a twelve-round split decision to Denys Berinchyk last May in a failed bid to capture the vacant WBO lightweight title in San Diego, California.

Navarrete came close to winning none of the rounds, but the three judges were very kind to him. He was the A-side in that fight, facing an aging fighter with Olympic experience who many had thought he would dominate. Berinchyk’s amateur pedigree was too much for Navarrete in that fight.

Fans on social media want Navarrete to stay at lightweight to try and avenge his loss to Berinchyk because it’s a bad look for him to move back down to super featherweight to defend his WBO title against a fighter he already beat last year.

Unfairness to Contenders

It would have been a better move for the World Boxing Organization to strip Navarrete of his WBO 130-lb title once he moved up to 135 to battle for the vacant title against Berinchyk.

Allowing Navarrete to keep his WBO super featherweight title after he’d moved up to lightweight is unfair to the contenders in the 130-lb division.

The 2012 Olympic silver medalist Berinchyk took Navarrete to school in that fight. He dominated every round, making his misses and carving him up with shots.

The judges scored it 115-113, 116-112 for Berinchyk, and 116-112 for Navarrete. However, in a complete mismatch fight, Berinchyk got the better of Navarrete in all 12 rounds.

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