Navarrete-Valdez to headline broadcast airing live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT TONIGHT
Three-division world champion Emanuel Navarrete is set to defend his WBO junior lightweight world title. He faces off against the former two-division world champion Oscar Valdez in a thrilling Mexican face-off on Saturday, August 12, at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona. Both Navarrete and Valdez have aspirations to leave their mark on the celebrated list of Mexican rivalries, joining the likes of Marco Antonio Barrera-Erik Morales, Ruben Olivares-Chucho Castillo, and Rafael Marquez-Israel Vazquez.
The Navarrete-Valdez encounter is set to be broadcast live across ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The fight’s promotion is being handled by Top Rank, with details about ticketing to be released soon.
Bob Arum, the chairman of Top Rank, expressed his excitement about the fight, highlighting both Navarrete and Valdez as proud warriors. He emphasized that the contest is destined to be remembered as a classic, promising both the attendees at the Desert Diamond Arena and viewers on ESPN a thrilling spectacle. According to Arum, the winner of this contest will solidify their status among the great Mexican fighters, further fueling his anticipation for the event.
Hailing from San Juan Zitlaltepec, Navarrete, known for his impressive record of 37 wins, one loss, and 31 knockouts, secured his first world title by overcoming Isaac Dogboe for the WBO junior featherweight crown in December 2018. After successfully defending his title five times, he moved up to featherweight, where he defeated Ruben Villa for the vacant WBO title in October 2020. Following his victories over Christopher Diaz, Joet Gonzalez, and Eduardo Baez, Navarrete moved up to 130 pounds. In February, Navarrete added his name to the select group of Mexican three-division champions, including Morales, Barrera, and Julio Cesar Chavez, by defeating Liam Wilson for the WBO junior lightweight world title.
Navarrete expressed his motivation for the upcoming match against Valdez, acknowledging the threat his opponent poses. He hinted at the potential for the start of a new Mexico vs. Mexico rivalry similar to the legendary Barrera and Morales rivalry.
On the other side of the ring, Valdez, who has an impressive record of 31 wins, one loss, and 23 knockouts, represented Mexico at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. After capturing the WBO featherweight world title against Matias Rueda in 2016 and defending it successfully six times, he moved up to junior lightweight. There, he saw victories against Adam Lopez in 2019 and Jayson Velez in 2020 before facing his most formidable challenge, a WBC title fight against Miguel Berchelt. Despite disadvantages in terms of height, reach, and power, Valdez managed to secure three knockdowns, earning him a 10th-round knockout. Following a competitive fight against Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceição later that year, Valdez suffered his first defeat in a title unification battle against Shakur Stevenson in April 2022. However, he rebounded by defeating Lopez in a rematch last month and now aims to match Navarrete’s record as a three-time world champion.
Valdez shared his excitement about returning to the ring, especially for a world title match against Navarrete. He reflected on his childhood dream of becoming a world champion, a feat he has already achieved twice, and is excited to have another opportunity
“The anticipation surrounding this fight is visible. Both Valdez and I owe it to everyone to give our utmost. There’s no doubt, everyone’s awaiting a fiery clash. We possess all the ingredients for a legendary match.”
“My bout with Valdez is a defining moment for my career. This Mexican rivalry elevates the sport. Boxing enthusiasts have urged me to give a standout performance, suggesting my career needed that defining moment. This fight embodies that moment.”
“The presence of legends like Barrera and Morales conveys a clear message. Our challenge is to echo their iconic battles. Everything aligns for an epic showdown. Looking at Valdez, I see he’s charged up. Saturday promises to be electrifying.”
“This bout is personal. Shakur Stevenson’s victory served as an awakening for me, fueling a newfound passion. My hiatus from boxing intensified my love for it. My eyes are set on reclaiming the world champion title.”
“No matter the location – Lake Tahoe, San Diego, Guadalajara, or even China, my training camps remain unwavering. For this particular bout, our preparations were both rigorous and strategic. Credit goes to Eddy Reynoso and the team for a flawless camp. We’re battle-ready.”
“Having Barrera and Morales here is deeply symbolic. They epitomize the boxing era that molded me. Their valor on the ring inspired countless like me. Their legacy spurs me on.”
“My goal? A triumphant return as world champion, coupled with a thrilling bout for the fans. I’m prepared.”
Marco Antonio Barrera
“I’m thrilled to witness this promising bout. Whenever a Mexican steps onto the ring, fireworks are guaranteed. Both Valdez and Navarrete understand the weight of the occasion. Their clash promises the quintessential Mexican showdown.”
“Encounters between Mexicans have a history of being exhilarating. Both warriors here aim to etch their names into boxing lore.”
“These two are set to reiterate why Mexican boxing remains unparalleled in excitement. After my interactions with both, they’re committed to delivering a spectacle. I’m here, waiting in anticipation.”
“In the heart of a Mexican boxer lies boundless pride. Titles and accolades fade in comparison. The real quest? Proving oneself as Mexico’s finest.”