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Emanuel Navarrete ready for war against Juan Miguel Elorde

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 ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete 28-1 (24) is ready to make the third defence of his title against Juan Miguel Elorde 28-1 (15) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.

The fight will be the main support bout to the heavyweight clash between Tyson Fury and Otto Wallin.

Navarrete broke through to win the WBO belt with a 12-round points win over rising star Isaac Dogboe at Madison Square Garden in New York last December.

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Five months later the 24-year-old Mexican went one better in the rematch, stopping Dogboe in the 12th round after dominating much of the fight.

With the Elorde fight taking place on Mexican Independence Day Weekend, Navarrete says he understands the need to deliver a stellar performance.

“This opponent is very difficult, a Filipino of high level, but I come psyched, highly trained and motivated to defend my championship in Las Vegas on this special date,” Navarrete said at the final press conference to promote the fight.

“Fans will see a great fight and we will take back the title to Mexico and show Mexican pride, Mexican style and contribute to the celebration of the independence of our beloved Mexico.”

Elorde, 32, is confident he has the measure of Navarrete.

“We did the best preparation of my career and have studied Navarrete well,” said Elorde, who is the grandson of International Boxing Hall of Famer Gabriel ‘Flash’ Elorde.

“We know how to exploit his flaws and utilise our strengths.”

Also on the card former WBO lightweight champion Jose Pedraza 26-2 (13) of Puerto Rico will make his 140-pound debut against Californian southpaw Jose Zepeda 30-2 (25) over 10 rounds.

“I’m rising into a new division with great challenges,” said the 30-year-old Pedraza.

Zepeda, 30, lost a 12-round majority decision to WBC junior welterweight champion Jose Carlos Ramirez in February and had to settle for a no contest in a tune-up fight against Eleazar Valenzuela in May.

“It will be a good fight and we will win,” Zepeda said.

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