Top Rank Makes April Emanuel Navarrete Defense Official
One of the most exciting KO driven smaller weight champions in Boxing will be back in the ring coming in April and with fans in attendance. Top Rank Boxing announced Monday afternoon that WBO Featherweight Champ, Emanuel Navarrete will return on April 24th,
(Fired up to finally say this …)
? FANS WILL BE IN THE BUILDING!!
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) March 15, 2021
Navarrete, (33-1, 28 KOs) and having won 28 fights in a row, burst onto the world scene in December 2018, battering Isaac Dogboe over 12 rounds to win the WBO Junior Featherweight world title. He is 7-0 since then, including five title defenses, all by stoppage.
Navarrete moved up to Featherweight and picked up the vacant WBO world title last October with a unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Ruben Villa at the Top Rank Las Vegas “bubble.”
The hard punching, rising star Mexican will be pitted against Puerto Rican former world title challenger, Christopher Diaz. Diaz (26-2, 16 KOs) is battle-tested, having challenged Masayuki Ito for the WBO Junior Lightweight world title in July 2018. He lost to Ito by unanimous decision, but has gone 3-1 since moving down to Featherweight.
“I am a fighter who likes to face the best, and my challenge now is to beat the tough ‘Pitufo’ Diaz,” Navarrete said in the Top Rank statement.
“I know he is a good fighter, and I am sure we will give a great show to the people of Florida and to those watching us fight on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+. On April 24, I will show that I am the best featherweight in the world. I will not let him take my championship to Puerto Rico. That belt will stay with me in San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico.”
On the undercard and in the co-feature that Saturday Night, unbeaten Super Middleweight contender Edgar Berlanga will put his impressive 1st round KO streak back on the line. Berlanga, who has 16 straight wins by opening round knockout or stoppage, will fight veteran Desmond Nicholson in a scheduled 8 rounder.
Nicholson (23-3-1, 20 KOs) has won five consecutive fights since a seventh-round TKO loss to Jesse Hart in April 2018 and will be the next to attempt to hear the bell for the end of the first round against Berlanga.
ESPN will televise the featured fights from the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, FL. At present, indoor venues are allowed to have up to 25% capacity under Covid 19 guidelines for the state of Florida. It’s expected that some 300 or so seats would be available in the venue.