Breaking News :

Emanuel Navarrete, Liam Wilson agree to title fight

Emanuel Navarrete and Liam Wilson have agreed to a deal for a WBO junior lightweight title fight on Feb. 3 in Glendale, Arizona, a source told ESPN.

Navarrete was set to meet Oscar Valdez in a highly anticipated ESPN/ESPN+ main event, but as BoxingScene first reported, Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) suffered an injury and withdrew from the fight for the vacant 130-pound title. The nature and severity of the injury was undisclosed.

Navarrete-Wilson will be supported by an intriguing co-feature between Jose Pedraza and Arnold Barboza Jr., both of whom are ranked in ESPN’s top 10 at junior welterweight.

Navarrete, ESPN’s No. 1 featherweight, holds the WBO title at 126 pounds but will move up four pounds when he’ll be heavily favored to become a three-division champion. The lanky volume-puncher from San Juan Zitaltepec, Mexico, has made three defenses of the title he attained in October 2020.

Navarrete (36-1, 30 KOs) also held a title at 122 pounds. He’s coming off a sixth-round KO of Eduardo Baez in August.

Wilson (11-1, 7 KOs) is the next available contender in the WBO’s 126-pound rankings, though he isn’t rated in ESPN’s top 10. The 26-year-old has never competed outside Australia and has never faced a notable opponent.

They’ll vie for one of the two titles vacated by Shakur Stevenson after he missed weight in September.

Valdez, a two-time Olympian from Mexico, was routed by Stevenson in April. His September 2021 triumph over Robson Conceicao was marred by a positive test for the banned stimulant phentermine weeks before the fight.

The 31-year-old figures to land a shot at Navarrete once he has recovered if “Vaquero” wins as expected.

Pedraza (29-4-1, 14 KOs), a 33-year-old Puerto Rican, was set to fight Teofimo Lopez this past Saturday but fell ill. Now, Pedraza will meet Barboza in a fight with title implications at 140 pounds. A former titleholder at 130 pounds, Pedraza is rated No. 10 by ESPN at 140. He’s coming off a draw with Richard Commey in August.

Barboza (27-0, 10 KOs) is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over Danielito Zorrilla in July. A 30-year-old from Los Angeles, Barboza is rated No. 6 by ESPN at 140 pounds.

Read Previous

Dutch Grand Prix to remain on Formula One calendar until 2025

Read Next

Finlay Knox swims to world bronze in Canadian record time for 1st individual senior medal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *