Emanuel Navarrete Ready To Go For Third World Title
Coming up Friday night in Glendale, AZ, one of the most entertaining championship punchers in the smaller weight classes is set to return.This, as Emanuel Navarrete will battle for the vacant WBO junior lightweight title against Australian Liam Wilson.
Wednesday, the fighters met with the media for the final time in advance of their Top Rank Boxing/ESPN main event,
"El Vaquero" looks to make history 🇲🇽 pic.twitter.com/MvHyle3gbi
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) February 1, 2023
From the Top Rank release recapping the presser,
“The Top Rank on ESPN 2023 schedule continues with a star-studded bill Friday evening at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
The main event is a battle for the vacant WBO junior lightweight world title, as Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete (36-1, 30 KOs) seeks to become a three-weight world champion against Australian upstart Liam Wilson (11-1, 7 KOs).
The 10-round junior welterweight co-feature sees former two-weight world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (29-4-1, 14 KOs) attempt to end the unbeaten run of top contender Arnold Barboza Jr. (27-0, 10 KOs). In the ESPN-televised opener, heavyweight U.S. Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr. (4-0, 4 KOs) battles James Bryant (6-2, 4 KOs) in a six-rounder.
“For me and my team, being a three-division world champion will be the culmination of yet another goal in my career. We know that it won’t be easy. But, by doing that, I’ll feel that I have done something good in my career, and I’ll be satisfied with what I have achieved in my 10 years as a professional boxer,” Navarrete said through an interpreter.
“My team and my corner have been fundamental to my development. They are people who are very humble. My family is very humble and reserved. More than being humble, it’s a way of life. I appreciate that part of me, and I always try to be a better person.”
“Liam Wilson comes with a strong desire to win the world title. And that’s why I’ve been focused on him 100 percent.”
As for the heavy underdog Wilson,
“This is a chance to fulfill my dream and become a world champion. I’ve done 17 years of hard work for this moment. I’ve put in a lot of hard work. I’ve fought whoever they’ve put in front of me. I’m ready for Friday night,” he said.
“I’ve taken one hard fight after another. Against Matias Rueda, I fought with one hand. I broke my hand midway through the fight. But I showed my resilience. The fight proved to myself, my country and the world that I have what it takes to become world champion and that I have to be in those fights.”
“This means everything. This is what me, my team, my promoter, my manager and my trainers have worked for. We’ve taken the risks and challenges, and I know that on fight night I have a tough fight ahead of me. Navarrete is a great champion, but I do plan on giving him the fight of his life. I’m going to win.”
Wilson is taking the place of former unified 130 lb. champ Oscar Valdez, who suffered an injury in training a couple of weeks ago. Meanwhile, Navarette has endeared himself to fight fans by not only being active, but because he’s scored six KOs in his last eight world title fights. The 28 year old Navarrete has moved up to 130 lb. after struggling to make the featherweight limit in his last title bout, when he eventually kayoed Eduardo Baez last August in the sixth round.
Meanwhile, the lightly regarded 26 year old Aussie has never fought outside of his home country and could be in for an immediate problem with Navarrete who has tremendous punching power in both hands.
Navarrete-Wilson, Barboza-Pedraza, and Torrez-Bryant will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m ET/7 p.m. PT.