Coming up Thursday night in Las Vegas one of the most active and hardest punching world champs is back in the co-feature for Top Rank Boxing’s show. And, it’s not hard to appreciate what Emanuel Navarrete brings, when he steps through the ropes.
First, Navarrete, 38-1, 31 KOs, will make the latest defense of his WBO junior lightweight title against former world title challenger Robson Conceicao in a scheduled 12 rounder at the T-Mobile Arena. And, in the final press conference prior to his third title fight this year, Navarrete was respectful of his opponent and gave some insight to his mentality,
“Robson represents an enormous threat in this fight. His style is very difficult. He’s a fighter who has an Olympic style. That makes it difficult for anyone with my style. But we worked on that. We worked on that in order to make the fight easier for me in that regard.”
“I like being active. I like working. I always like fighting, and I take the opportunities that appear in my career. So, basically, I just take advantage of it.”
Conceicao, 17-2, 8 KOs, is a former Olympic Gold Medalist and has previously fought 12 round battles with Shakur Stevenson (who headlines Thursday night) and also, Oscar Valdez in the last two years. He’ll be a tough test for Navarrete, but that’s something the Mexican, as he said above, doesn’t shy away from.
Watch Dan Rafael with me from the BetUS TV show live Fridays as we previewed/handicapped Navarrete-Conceicao here
Navarrete has been refreshingly active with nine fights since the beginning of 2020 and eight of them being world title bouts. This includes his February “fight of the year” nominee with Australian Liam Wilson that saw the champ down and in trouble only to bomb his way back to victory with his trademark left uppercut for a 9th round TKO.
Since, then, 28 year old Navarrete won impressively, while hammering Valdez for 12 rounds in August in a one sided decision for his first defense at 130 lb.
When you go back over Navarrete’s multi-division title run, it’s 13 fights, 12 of them title bouts, going back to him capturing the WBO junior featherweight crown over Isaac Dogboe in December 2018. And, in that time nine of the bouts (eight in title fights) are KOs. There’s arguably not another champion that will have fought 14 times in under five years (60 months).
So, as he said to the media Thursday, he’s back to work in Las Vegas on the big stage and while Conceicao is a veteran, one gets the feeling that it may be a big night for the Mexican champion.
Big punching, active champ, who wants to get a third fight end before the end of the calendar year?