Emanuel Navarrete is set to defend his WBO title against the little known Francisco De Vaca at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on Saturday. Navarrette (27-1, 23 KOs), however, has a bigger plan in the 122-pound division and has sights on more belts after his match with De Vaca.
“I see (De Vaca) as an obstacle,” Navarrete said in an interview with The Ring through Noe Alvarez at the Alto Boxing Club in Tijuana. “It’s another step to prove that I’m a real champion, and I’m not here because of coincidence.
Navarette had initially beaten Issac Dogboe to attain the belt in a dominant unanimous decision back in December 2018, which at the time seemed like an upset. The rematch proved that this wasn’t a fluke as it was more of the same before the stoppage in the 12th round of their second meeting back in May. In terms of his opposition this upcoming weekend, Navarrete stated he didn’t know much about De Vaca.
“To be honest, I don’t know much of him, but to be challenging for my title shows he is a legitimate opponent,” Navarrete told The Ring. “I don’t know of his weaknesses but come fight night we will see.”
De Vaca (20-0, 6 KOs) who currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona for this matchup is fighting for the first time outside of his home state in 6 contests. The biggest win of not on his resume was against fight veteran Christian Esquivel (30-19-1, 23 KOs) by a sixth-round stoppage in 2018. This title shot against Navarette will be for him a huge step up in competition, however.
“After facing De Vaca and, God willing, (achieving) victory, I want to sweep the entire division, unify and move on to 126,” Navarette explained ti The Ring. “You all know who the other champions are. By the way, I send salutations to every one of them. Let’s stop avoiding and have the best of the best face each other.”
Let’s see if Navarette is successful in this defense if it will get him one step closer to that wish in taking on Daniel Roman. Roman himself is in action against WBA mandatory Murodjon Akhmadaliev in September on the same card as the Devin Haney-Zaur Abdullaev title eliminator.