Navarrete vs Berinchyk Predictions: Emanuel’s fab four

 | Friday 17th May 2024, 10:00am

Friday 17th May 2024, 10:00am

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Emanuel Navarrete is aiming to capture a world title at a fourth weight on Saturday, May 18 as he takes on Denys Berinchyk for the vacant WBO lightweight championship. The fight takes place at the Pechanga Area in San Diego, USA. Sky Sports Action will televise the card.

Here are my Navarrete vs Berinchyk predictions ahead of this world title battle.

Navarette vs Berinchyk Tips

  • Navarette by knockout @ 11/8
  • Fight to go the distance - No @ 6/5

You would be forgiven for forgetting this fight is taking place on Saturday. That is no reflection of quality, as this is a very good match-up indeed. But rather, it is taking place in the vast shadow of happenings in Saudi Arabia. With the undisputed heavyweight title showdown between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk lighting up Riyadh, all but the most hardcore fans lack the bandwidth for this one.

That is a shame, because this WBO lightweight title showdown features two fighters thoroughly worthy of the honour. The winner will join a parade of fine champions who could make for some exhilarating unification fights.

Since Devin Haney abandoned his undisputed championship to compete at super lightweight, the belts have found a range of new homes. 135 pounds is one of the deepest divisions in boxing so even when ‘The Dream’ abdicated, you were left with fighters of the purest quality vying for the crowns he left behind.

Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis was upgraded from WBA ‘regular’ champion to the full title. Shakur Stevenson outpointed Edwin De Los Santos for the WBC belt. Then, just last weekend, Vasiliy Lomachenko turned back the clock with a brilliant 11th-round stoppage of George Kambosos Jr to lift the IBF strap.

Now the winner of Navarrete vs Berinchyk will take their place among one of the strongest championship groups in boxing. If this confusing, contradictory sport can get its ducks in a row this era could go down in history. Any combination of Saturday’s victor, Stevenson, Lomachenko and Davis would make for an exciting fight. If there is any justice in the world, these men will fight each other on the path to crowning an undisputed king.

But that is in the future. For now, Navarrete and Berinchyk each have compelling reasons to want to take that WBO title home on Saturday.

For Navarrete, it is another piece of history. Still only 29 years old, this would mark a world title at a fourth weight for ‘Vaquero. The Mexican hasn’t lost since a four-rounder back in 2012, in only his sixth pro fight. Since then, Navarrete has been a symbol of excellence across multiple weight classes.

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Far from just ticking boxes and moving up, Navarrete has racked up 10 defences of his various world titles. Along the way he has beaten excellent men like Isaac Dogboe, Joet Gonzalez and Oscar Valdez. In Berinchyk, he faces another top-class opponent in the pursuit of title glory.

Berinchyk has looked ready for an opportunity like this for a while. An excellent amateur, he captured silver medals at the 2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympics, the latter as part of the same wildly-successful Ukraine team as Lomachenko and Usyk.

A natural competitor with an 18-0 pro record, Berinchyk also found time to score a four-round knockout of ex-UFC star Artem Lobov in a bare-knuckle fight in 2021. But his main focus has been the squared circle, where he has built a reputation as a dominant force.

While not a lethal puncher, Berinchyk has 9 knockouts from 18 wins for a healthy 50% knockout ratio. But as with teammates like Lomachenko and Usyk, the Ukrainian star is more of a technician than a wrecking ball. Berinchyk is a gifted switch-hitter whose smoothness and shot-picking can confound opponents.

Navarrete is coming off the back of a draw against Robson Conceicao. It was the first time he hadn’t won a fight since 2012. That fight was more blood-and-thunder than I am expecting this one to be. Conceicao hit the deck twice in that encounter before rallying aggressively. Berinchyk can go up through the gears, but he is more of a scientist than Conceicao.

I feel that reluctance could be punished. Berinchyk does everything well. A solid seven or eight out of 10 in every department. But in terms of power you would have to score Navarette a nine or 10. He has knocked out 31 of his 38 victims and he has the one-punch force that can switch a fight.

Berinchyk has never fought anyone who carries the sort of pop Navarrete brings in his shots. How will he respond when he feels one of the scything punches that have put paid to the ambitions of fighters from super bantamweight to super featherweight?

I ultimately don’t think Berinchyk will hold up against Navarrete’s best shots. He is a fine boxer, a superb one in fact. But Navarrete is showing all the signs of becoming a fighter that helps to define this generation. 

My picks is Navarrete to score a victory by knockout at 11/8. It’s a longer shot than the decision, but I just feel like ‘Vaquero’ will find a way to land his best shots at some point over the 12 rounds. With exceptions like Conceicao, not many get up once the Mexican lets his hands go. Berinchyk is good, but Navarrete is among the world’s best.

You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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