Three-division world champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete will defend his WBO junior light-weight world title in opposition to former two-division world champion Oscar Valdez in an all-Mexican duel Saturday, August 12 at Desert Diamond Enviornment in Glendale, Arizona. Navarrete and Valdez search to etch their names among the many celebrated catalog of Mexican rivalries that features Marco Antonio Barrera-Erik Morales, Ruben Olivares-Chucho Castillo and Rafael Marquez-Israel Vazquez.
Navarrete-Valdez might be broadcast reside on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Navarrete (37-1, 31 KOs), the combating delight of San Juan Zitlaltepec, captured his first world title by defeating Isaac Dogboe for the WBO junior featherweight crown in December 2018. He made 5 defenses earlier than transferring as much as featherweight, the place he beat Ruben Villa for the vacant WBO title in October 2020. The 28-year-old defended his belt with victories over Christopher Diaz, Joet Gonzalez and Eduardo Baez earlier than transferring as much as 130 kilos. In February, Navarrete joined an elite record of Mexican three-division champions — together with Morales, Barrera and Julio Cesar Chavez — by defeating Liam Wilson through ninth-round TKO for the WBO junior light-weight world title.
Navarrete mentioned, “After a lot time, this battle will lastly happen. Clearly, I’m 100% motivated as a result of Valdez continues to be a giant risk, and a battle in opposition to him might presumably be the beginning of a brand new Mexico vs. Mexico rivalry just like the one between Barrera and Morales.”
Valdez (31-1, 23 KOs), from Nogales, represented Mexico on the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. As a professional, he captured the WBO featherweight world title in opposition to Matias Rueda in 2016 and made six profitable defenses. He moved as much as junior light-weight and defeated Adam Lopez in 2019 and Jayson Velez in 2020 earlier than taking up his hardest problem, a WBC title tilt in opposition to Miguel Berchelt in February 2021. Regardless of disadvantages in top, attain and energy, Valdez counterpunched his strategy to three crushing knockdowns, the final of which earned him a Tenth-round KO. After a aggressive battle in opposition to Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceição later that yr, Valdez suffered his first defeat in a title unification battle in opposition to Shakur Stevenson in April 2022. He bounced again by defeating Lopez in a rematch within the co-feature to the Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko tremendous battle final month, and he now hopes to equal Navarrete as a three-time world champion.
Valdez mentioned, “I’m excited to return to the ring, particularly as a result of it’s for a world title in opposition to ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete. Being a world champion is one thing that I all the time dreamed of. I already did it two occasions, and that is one more alternative. So, I’m excited and ready each mentally and bodily for this new alternative. And I like that it’s between two Mexicans as a result of it’s a win-win for Mexico. It’s a assured conflict when there are two Mexicans within the ring.”
“Emanuel Navarrete and Oscar Valdez are proud warriors, and it is a battle that’s destined to go down as a basic,” mentioned Prime Rank chairman Bob Arum. “The battle followers at Desert Diamond Enviornment and everybody watching on ESPN are in for an actual deal with. The winner of this battle etches his identify among the many nice Mexican fighters. I can’t wait.”
A press launch by Prime Rank was used on this article.