Emanuel Navarette defends WBO title against Oscar Valdez

boxing11 August 2023 10:41
By:Ron Jackson
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Emanuel Navarette © Getty Images

WBO junior lightweight champion Emanuel Navarette makes the first defence of his title against former champion Oscar Valdez on Saturday night at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, in what is expected to be a close encounter between two Mexicans.

The big punching Navarrete (37-1; 31) has power and was the WBO junior featherweight champion from December 2018, when he outpointed Isaac Dogboe, and in a rematch stopped him in the last round, and then made five successful defences of the belt.

He then captured the vacant WBO featherweight belt in October 2020, winning on points against Ruben Villa, and after three successful defences of that belt, he moved up to the junior lightweight class to win the vacant WBO crown against Liam Wilson of Australia on a ninth-round stoppage.

The title was previously owned by Valdez (31-1, 23) and the 32-year-old was also WBO featherweight champion from 2016 to 2019.

He then won the WBC junior lightweight title with a knockout against Miguel Berchelt, but after his first defence, Valdez suffered his first defeat, losing on points against Shakur Stevenson, for the WBO title.

Valdez was last out in May, taking a wide ten-round points decision win in a rematch against Adam Lopez.

Some scribes are predicting a close win for Navarette.