This coming Saturday, the WBO Junior Super Featherweight Title will be at stake in the main event of a nine-bout boxing night set for Glendale, Arizona. After current Champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete defends his belt against the Sonoran Challenger Oscar Valdez, the main event will feature two Mexican fighters, making it exciting for Central American boxing fans. As these two Mexican boxers prepare to leave it all on the line over the course of twelve 3-minute rounds, the tension in the arena is sure to rise.
In December of 2018, Navarrete came out of nowhere to defeat Isaac Dogboe to win the WBO junior featherweight title. In the first of five defenses, the Mexican heavyweight knocked out Dogboe. The 28-year-old boxer won the WBO 126-pound championship by defeating the previously undefeated Ruben Villa. He defended three more times, including one in which he thoroughly defeated Joet Gonzalez.
In his most recent fight, he rose off the canvas to knock out Liam Wilson and win a third WBO crown. Although Navarrete will have the advantage of youth and freshness, he will be taking on his toughest opponent to date.
The top-ranked junior lightweight in The Ring, Valdez, had a stellar amateur career, competing in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and taking home bronze from the 2009 World Championships. The Mexican superstar knocked out Matias Rueda in July 2016 to win the vacant WBO featherweight championship, and he successfully defended it six times.
Before moving up to 130, he had notable wins against Miguel Marriaga and Scott Quigg. Valdez’s victory over Miguel Berchelt via knockout for the WBC belt was his most impressive to date. The 32-year-old made one successful defense, defeating Robson Conceicao with great difficulty, before succumbing to WBO ruler Stevenson in a unification contest. He beat Adam Lopez to get the rust out of the ring.
Navarrete has a sly inside game while being a rough and clunky volume puncher. Valdez is a technically proficient power hitter with an amateur background at the Olympic level and a great deal of drive and commitment. Throw in some Mexican national pride, and we might have ourselves a war.
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Emanuel Navarrete vs Oscar Valdez Fight Information
- Date: 08/12/2023
- Time: 10:30 PM ET
- Location: Desert Diamond Arena, Glendale, Arizona, USA
- How to Watch Emanuel Navarrete vs Oscar Valdez: ESPN+
- Live Stream: sho.com