Emanuel Navarrete defends against Oscar Valdez this Saturday, August 12th on ESPN

By Jeff Sorby - 08/06/2023 - Comments

Emanuel Navarrete will defend his WBO super featherweight title this Saturday, August 12th, against former two-division world champion Oscar Valdez on ESPN at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

This is tough to predict because Navarrete hasn’t had enough quality opposition during his career to know how he’ll do against a top 130-pounder like Valdez, who has a massive advantage in pro and amateur experience.

Navarrete (37-1, 31 KOs) must fight much better against Valdez (31-1, 23 KOs) than last February against Liam Wilson because he’ll get knocked out quickly.

The 28-year-old Navarrete looked like he didn’t train for the Wilson fight, which showed with him getting dropped in the fourth round. Navarrete spit out his mouthpiece after being dropped and was given a lot of time by the referee, allowing him to survive.

Valdez was at ringside for that fight, laughing at the way the flabby-looking Navarrete struggled to beat Wilson, and he saw a lot of weakness in the former super featherweight that he felt he could exploit.

Navarrete may lack the talent to beat top 122-lb fighters like Valdez, O’Shaquie Foster, Hector Luis Garcia & Joe Cordina. If that’s the case, Navarrete will lose on Saturday.

Navarrete would then need to decide whether he wants to stay at super featherweight or return from whence he came at 126 and target the vulnerable champions Leigh Wood or Rey Valdez.

It would be a mistake for Navarrete to try and win back his old WBO 126-lb belt against two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez because he is not skilled enough to beat the Cuban, and he’s too slow & wild.

Navarrete – Valdez event will be shown live this Saturday, August 12th, on ESPN and ESPN+, 10:00 pm ET,

Oscar Valdez, 32, is coming off a ten round unanimous decision over Adam Lopez last May in a rematch meant to get the ring rust out and give him a confidence booster after his loss to Shakur Stevenson last year.

In the chief support bout, unbeaten lightweight contender Raymond Muratalla (18-0, 15 KOs) faces Diego Torres (17-0, 16 KOs) in a ten round fight.

Also on the card, heavyweight prospect Richard Torrez Jr.  (5-0, 5 KO) faces 40-year-old Willie Jake Jr. (11-3-2, 3 KOs)  in a six round bout.

Navarrete-Valdez undercard

  • Raymond Muratalla vs. Diego Torres Nunez
  • Lindolfo Delgado vs. Jair Valtierra
  • Richard Torrez Jr. vs. Willie Jake Jr.
  • Sergio Leon Rodriguez vs. Eduardo Ayala
  • Antonio Mireles vs. Dajuan Calloway
  • Emiliano Vargas vs. Jorge Luis Marquez Alvarado
  • Ricardo Ruvalcaba vs. TBA

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