WBO junior lightweight champ and one of the hardest smaller weight champs in the sport, Emanuel Navarette of Mexico, will defend against countryman and two division world champ, Oscar Valdez on August 12th.
Our insider Dan Rafael was the first to report Monday night, that the bout will head a Top Rank Boxing show from Glendale, AZ,
— Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) May 23, 2023
Dan went on to report on his Substack that ESPN will televise the bout on one of their channels and stream it on ESPN+.
Navarrete, 37-1, 31 KOs, has amassed an impressive resume’ of KOs and stoppages since winning his first world title in a decision over Isaac Dogboe in December 2018. That includes winning nine times inside the distance in 11 fights and while claiming the WBO 126 lb. and now, 130 lb. belts in the process.
He and the popular, two division champ Valdez were to have fought for the vacant WBO junior lightweight crown left behind by Shakur Stevenson back on February 3rd. However, Valdez injured his back while in training after slipping and falling.
The main event was salvaged, as Navarrete finally stopped replacement, Australian Liam Wilson, by TKO in the ninth round of a wild fight with both men hurt. Valdez was watching at ringside, knowing he would get the first crack at the winner of that February bout.
This past Saturday on the Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko undercard in Las Vegas, Valdez, 31-1, 23 KOs, scored a dominant 10 round decision over Adam Lopez. It was Valdez’s fist time in the ring, since Stevenson whipped him easily in March of last year in a unified 130 lb. showdown.
Valdez had won his WBC title in the junior lightweight division with a brutal left hand KO over Miguel Berchelt in February 2021. Valdez controversially tested positive for a weight loss- PED prior to his title defense with Robinson Conceicao in September of 2021. He went on to score a close 12 round decision over the Brazilian contender.