One of the more exciting smaller weight fighters of the last year-and-a-half is anxious, like everyone else, to get back in the ring, as soon as the Coronavirus outbreak subsides. And, for WBO Junior featherweight Champion Emanuel Navarrete, he also recently revealed an interesting health update.
More on that in a moment.
First, Navarrete appeared on a Facebook Live for Zanfer Promotions, his promoter along with Top Rank Boxing, to discuss living through quarantine life and the shutdown of boxing due to COVID-19. Navarrette further said that he will be ready for whenever boxing resumes and wants to be out front in fighting, as soon as possible, when it does.
Further, Navarrete, who has five successful defenses of the WBO belt since winning it in December of 2018, says his right hand injured in his last fight in February is now fine.
Navarrete scored an 11th round TKO for his latest defense in February over Tupas “Jeo” Santisima of the Philippines in Las Vegas on the undercard of the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder rematch.
In that fight, Navarrete admitted to having injured his right hand in the third round and damaging it more in round five. However, he persevered on and eventually stopped Santisima for his six consecutive title fight win by KO.
Navarrete said during the Facebook conversation with Zanfer hosts in Spanish that was translated and written about by Boxingscene.com,
“I am training and taking care of myself until this pandemic ends, to be among the first to raise my hand and fight.
I’m fine now, I had tendonitis, rest and medication have completely restored me, I’m already punching and I haven’t had any problems,”
It’s interesting that the fighter known as “El Vaquero” (the Cowboy), says that the hand wasn’t broken, much less, required surgery.
That bodes well for a fighter that had been as active as any World Champ in any division over the last year. The Santisima defense was his fifth in just nine months and Navarrete’s fourth title fight since last August.
Most reigning champs don’t fight more than twice in a year.
Navarrete is now 31-1 with 27 Kos and has been believed that he would move up potentially a level to Featherweight. However, he could also choose to remain at 122 lb. and then, fight a massive unification bout later this year against unbeaten WBA/IBF champ, Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan.
Or, maybe, a fight with unbeaten Japanese Unified Bantamweight champ, Naoya “The Monster” Inoue convincing him to move up to 122 lb. for a battle for Navarrete’s title.
Inoue has relocated to the U.S., as he was to have fought this Spring until the COVID-19 outbreak. Plus, he is under the same Top Rank Boxing promotional umbrella, if they want to put him at some point in with Navarrete.
No matter whom is immediately next, the good news is that Navarrete has been very willing/active in the recent past, is an exciting puncher and may be in position to fight at least twice before 2020 ends.