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Emanuel Navarrete considering move to featherweight after title defence this Saturday

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBO super bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete 27-1 (23) has flagged a move up to the featherweight division after claiming the other 122-pound titlists don’t want to face him.

Speaking to the media ahead of his title defence against Francisco De Vaca 20-0 (6) at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California this Saturday night, the 24-year-old Mexican said it was frustrating trying to find suitable opponents.

“I’ve said it several times already: If the other champions of the division don’t want to accept the challenge of unifying titles, I will be moving up to the featherweight division,” Navarrete said.

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“If everything goes well on Saturday, maybe I will make another fight in the super bantamweight division, but if I don’t get a unification fight, I would go up to 126 pounds.”

Navarrete scored a breakout win over popular Ghanaian Isaac Dogboe on points in December last year and went one better in May when he stopped Dogboe in the 12th round in the rematch.

“The reality is that my life has changed a lot in these last eight months,” he said. “The fact that I have become world champion and that I have won over a wide margin to Isaac Dogboe, who came from beating Jessie Magdaleno, makes me very happy. I feel very satisfied with the results we have achieved for the hard work we have done in recent months.”

Navarrete said he always prepares the same regardless of his opponent.

“The truth is that it doesn’t matter who is my opponent. I always prepare 100% for each of my fights, and this was no exception,” Navarrete said.

“We already did the hard work in the gym, and we are ready for a great fight. If De Vaca comes to fight hard, I am prepared to go even harder. I’m ready to give a great battle to all the fans.”

Mexican-American De Vaca, 24, is the WBO number 10 contender.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity. I’m ready! I wanted to fight for a world title since I was 5 years old, and now that we have the opportunity, we are going to make our dream come true this Saturday,” said De Vaca. “Come Saturday, there will be a new world champ for Phoenix and Michoacán. I’m coming for that world title.”

The fight will be De Vaca’s first 12-round fight.

“I feel like I’m debuting all over again. We are ready!” he said. “I’m going to give everyone a great show. I’ve focused on preparing very well mentally because physically I’m always ready. You will see that come Saturday night.”

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