Emanuel Navarrete is fortunate he still has a major belt.
The WBO 130-pound titleholder from Mexico and Brazilian Robson Conceicao, who went down twice, fought to a majority draw on the Shakur Stevenson-Edwin De Los Santos card Thursday in Las Vegas.
One judge scored it 114-112 for Navarrete but the other two had it 113-113. Boxing Junkie also had it 113-113.
Conceicao, making his third attempt to win a major title, hit the canvas in Rounds 4 and 7 but outworked an opponent known for his volume punching in the majority of the other rounds.
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) November 17, 2023
Navarrete (38-1-1, 31 KOs) landed the harder punches, which obviously caught the judges’ attention, and seemed to wear down Conceicao (17-2-1, 8 KOs) as the fight progressed.
However, Conceicao, relying heavily on his determination, continued to fight hard, took all but the two shots that put him down and avoided many others with his superior technical ability.
According to CompuBox, Conceicao landed almost 100 more punches than Navarette overall, 213 of 852 to 116 of 487. Conceicao also landed more power shots, 101-95.
Neither man complained afterward.
“The decision is well-deserved,” Navarrete said. “Robson is a great fighter. He left his heart in the ring. There were some details with regard to technique, but we accomplished what we said we would do.
“We gave a great show for the fans. And, at least, I am very happy to come away with the title. He deserves the rematch, but that decision doesn’t depend 100 percent on me.
“But, if it does happen, I would train even better. He knows how I fight, and I know how he fights, so it would make for an excellent fight.”
Said Conceicao, “It was a hard fight. He is very strong. It was a difficult. But I know what I did tonight. It was a good fight. It deserves a rematch. If we do get the rematch, we will both train harder and will give an even better fight.”
Navarrete, a three-division beltholder, was making the second defense of his WBO title.
The 35-year-old Conceicao, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist, is now 0-2-1 in major title fights.