Home Boxing News Oscar Valdez promises to make Emanuel Navarrete bout an instant classic

Oscar Valdez promises to make Emanuel Navarrete bout an instant classic

Oscar Valdez. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Oscar Valdez 31-1 (23) will get the chance to become a two-time super featherweight champion when he meets WBO 130-pound boss Emanuel ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete 37-1 (31) at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday night.

The 32-year-old Mexican formerly held the WBC super featherweight belt before losing the strap in a unification bout to then-WBO champion Shakur ‘Fearless’ Stevenson 20-0 (10) on points in April last year.

Valdez bounced back with a decision win over Adam ‘Blunose’ Lopez 16-5 (6) in their rematch in May this year and will be looking to deliver a statement win over three-weight world champion Navarrete, 28, also of Mexico, on the weekend.

“I’m excited for this new opportunity, I feel blessed to be in this position, having the chance to fight for the world title means the world to me,” Valdez told The Ring.

“Many people know I lost my world title to Shakur Stevenson and I missed being a champion. This is my perfect opportunity to come back strong, especially with a statement.”

Former WBO featherweight champion Valdez had a big win in February 2021 when he knocked out Miguel ‘El Alacran’ Berchelt 38-3 (34) in the 10th round of their all-Mexican clash to claim the WBC belt before making one successful title defence against Robson Conceicao 17-2 (8) on points seven months later before running into a red-hot Stevenson.

Navarrete has a style that will mesh will with Valdez, all but guaranteeing fireworks.

“Fighting someone like ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete is the perfect opportunity because of his style,” Valdez said. “Every time you have two Mexican fighters inside the ring there’s always fireworks, there’s always a good fight, people enjoy those fights because they’re toe-to-toe, there’s blood, knockdowns and that’s what the fans like.

“Mexican fans enjoy it and I feel this fight is the perfect opportunity for that because of ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete’s style and my style.

“I feel where both not going to back down and I’m excited for that because I grew up watching the great Erik Morales and great Marco Antonio Barrera, those two guys inspired me like no other. They inspired me to be the fighter I am today, so this is my opportunity to come back and come back strong.”

Valdez’s manager Frank Espinoza is equally convinced that we will see something special in this showdown.

“You have to remember that the fight is personal for both fighters,” Espinoza said. “Valdez and Navarrete are both from the state of Sonora, Mexico and they have a long-standing rivalry.

“They’ve sparred in the past and they have exchanged words on social media and that just adds to the tension and will make the fight even more exciting.

“Oscar is extremely smart inside the ring. Navarrete is a rough individual but I think Oscar will find a way to out smart him. I’m expecting a late fight stoppage or a clear unanimous decision for Oscar.

“This is what we call a fan friendly fight. Kind of like Israel Vazquez vs Rafael Marquez. You absolutely cannot miss this one or you might regret it.”