Home Boxing News Emanuel Navarrete expects tough test, but vows to come through victorious against...

Emanuel Navarrete expects tough test, but vows to come through victorious against Robson Conceição

Emanuel Navarrete. Photo credit: Getty Images

Three-weight world champion Emanuel ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete 38-1 (31) expects his title reign to continue when he makes the second defence of his WBO super featherweight belt against Olympic gold medalist Robson ‘Nino’ Conceição 17-2 (8) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Thursday night.

The 28-year-old Mexican is 12-0 in world title fights including eight knockouts going back five years when he scored a breakthrough win over highly-touted super bantamweight Isaac Dogboe to claim the WBO belt at 122-pounds.

Brazilian Conceição, 35, is a quality operator who has only lost at the top level to Shakur Stevenson and Oscar Valdez in world title fights. He is hoping the third time is a charm.

But Navarrete sees him as just another bump in the road as he seeks big fights in the suddenly hot 130-pound division.

“It’s going to be one more fight,” Navarrete said. “I’m going to defend my title at 130 pounds.

“Obviously, we know who I am fighting. We know he is a real fighter. He is very strong and it will be difficult. But like always we are going to defend the title with the heart of a Mexican warrior.

“Being in Las Vegas is a dream for many athletes, not just boxers. I think it’s the epicenter of the most important shows in the world. I think that being here for me is an honor and I feel very grateful to be in front of all of you.”

Conceição had a lengthy amateur career eventually winning the gold in the lightweight division at the 2016 Rio Olympics before turning pro at the relatively late age of 28.

In Spetember 2021 he challenged Valdez for the WBC super featherweight title, losing by scores of 110-117 and 112-115 twice. One year later he again came up short in his fight against Stevenson for the WBC and WBO 130-pound titles. He lost that bout by scores of 109-117, 108-118 and 109-117.

Conceição said he didn’t hesitate to accept the fight with Navarrete for a third shot at a world title, even if it meant abandoning a guaranteed payday.

“The day before what was going to be my last fight, I learned about this very good opportunity,” Conceição said.

“I accepted it immediately. My team and I decided not to fight in order to better prepare for this fight on November 16th.

“It’s a very important moment for my career to be in this huge event. There are many good athletes who are participating in this event. We have Shakur Stevenson. We have Emanuel Navarrete, whom I admire a lot. He is a great champion.

“But this is my third opportunity. In the Olympic Games, I was able to win on my third attempt. And I will do the same in this third chance at a world title.”