Off To The Races: Shakur Stevenson-Edwin De Los Santos & Emanuel Navarrete-Robson Conceição Top World Championship Doubleheader Thursday, November 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and live on ESPN+ beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT
Dominican power-puncher Edwin De Los Santos steps up to the big leagues. He’s not just any fighter; this 24-year-old southpaw is on the brink of his first world title shot. Picture this: De Los Santos, poised and ready, will take on none other than the renowned Shakur Stevenson for the vacant WBC lightweight world title. The date? Thursday, Nov. 16. The venue? None other than the T-Mobile Arena in the heart of Las Vegas.
Now, let’s not forget the co-feature of this thrilling night. Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete, the defender of his WBO junior lightweight title, faces a challenging opponent in Robson Conceição, a Brazilian Olympic gold medalist. Talk about an exciting lineup!
This duo of fights, Stevenson-De Los Santos and Navarrete-Conceição, isn’t just a local affair. Oh no, it’s going global, broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT. Fans worldwide, get ready for some explosive action.
Let’s dive into the journey of De Los Santos. Beginning his professional journey in 2018, he quickly racked up 13 wins back home. But, as fate would have it, his U.S. debut was a close call, ending in a split decision loss to William Foster III. However, since that hiccup, De Los Santos has been unstoppable. In 2022, he claimed two undefeated records for himself, showcasing his knockout power against Luis Acosta and Jose Valenzuela. Come July, he dominated Joseph Adorno over 10 rounds.
Stevenson, with an unbeaten record of 20-0, including 10 KOs, is eyeing a hat-trick of world titles. Following his sixth-round triumph over Japanese contender Shuichiro Yoshino in April, Stevenson is not just stepping into the ring; he’s making a statement.
After a recent training, De Los Santos shared these thoughts:
“This fight represents the most challenging and important moment in my career. Achieving victory here will transform my life entirely. I’m aware of Shakur’s status as a great champion, and I realize that I must utilize all my skills to win. It’s a significant challenge, yet it’s not beyond reach.”
“My focus is laser-sharp on becoming the world champion and bringing a world title to the Dominican Republic. Defeating Shakur would be remembered as a historic triumph in Dominican boxing. This thought greatly increases my motivation.”
“It’s an immense week for Las Vegas, offering Shakur Stevenson a golden chance to demonstrate, yet again, why he’s inching closer to being the top fighter in boxing,” remarked Top Rank’s chairman, Bob Arum. “While several declined the invitation, Edwin De Los Santos was quick to step up. The fight between Emanuel Navarrete and Robson Conceição to determine the dominant fighter in the 130-pound division enhances an already impressive card filled with great fights.”
Stevenson remarked, “Edwin De Los Santos is no pushover, and he’s showing up to give it his all. Kudos to him for stepping up when many others hesitated. I’m seen as the most feared in boxing, and on November 16, I’ll prove why with another standout display for my supporters. Join us at T-Mobile Arena or catch the action on ESPN as I aim to be crowned a three-division world champion.”
De Los Santos expressed, “Gratitude to Top Rank, WBC, ESPN, and my promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, for this chance to shine and secure my inaugural world championship. I’m a fierce Dominican fighter representing my homeland! Shakur, brace yourself.”
Navarrete proclaimed, “I’m thrilled to defend my belt once more in 2023. I aim to keep registering significant wins for Mexican boxing, elevating our nation’s pride. Conceição poses challenges, but my goal is to be the top in the 130-pound division. That means taking on the best. I’ve never backed down. No matter the opponent, ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete stands prepared for combat.”
“It’s an honor to stand opposite such a top-contender champion. It took me three Olympic Games to finally secure the gold and be termed an Olympic champion. Now, history seems to echo its pattern. On November 16, I’ll fight with all I have, seizing this chance to become a world champion and bring gold back to Brazil.”
At Tuesday’s press event, the fighters shared their thoughts.
This is incredibly important to me. My entire life has been a journey toward moments like these. Here I am again, ready for another vacant title fight. My focus is razor-sharp, and I’m all set for Thursday. My performance mirrors my mood. I’m in this for myself, knowing that if I’m at my peak, I’ll be a challenge for anyone. He’s definitely a tough opponent with a lot of heart. That might play into my hands on Thursday, but I respect that he stepped up for this fight. I’m really hoping for a full house. I want everyone to watch; I’m geared up and ready to go.
Edwin De Los Santos
I’ve always been clear about this: I’m here to fight, not hesitate. We jumped at this fight as soon as it was offered. This is a thrilling moment for me. Every boxer dreams of this chance to become a world champion. My family’s ecstatic, and I’m confident that with God’s help, I’ll win and it will transform my life. Expect a surprise on November 16. Don’t be shocked.
Robson is a significant challenge. His Olympic-style fighting makes him a tricky opponent for anyone, especially with my fighting style. But we’ve prepared for this, aiming to simplify the fight for me. I love staying busy, embracing work and fights. I seize every opportunity that comes my way in my career.
I learned about this fight just before another scheduled bout in September. It was a huge opportunity, and I was thrilled to accept it right away. The harder the challenge, the better for me. Gaining a title in professional boxing is similar to my amateur career; it took me three tries to become an Olympic champion.
Brian Norman Jr.
I’m proudly carrying on my father’s legacy. He’s taught me everything about this sport. Preparing me mentally, I’ve grown up studying boxing legends, and I still do. It’s my passion. I’m not going to force a knockout, but I’ll definitely set the pace and go for damage. I love the challenge of fighting in Vegas against the perfect opponent. This is my moment to shine, the test I’ve been preparing for my entire life.
Norman’s in for a tough fight. He’s just a kid to me, and I’ll treat him as such in the ring. His record is inflated; he’s only fought easy opponents.
You’ll see a new side of me in the ring, not just my new hairstyle. I’m bringing some fresh tactics, but the essence remains the same. Expect a spectacular show.
Vladimir Hernandez is ready to bring the fight to me. This is my chance to show the world skills they haven’t seen yet. Winning here means I’m now a serious contender.
Emiliano Fernando Vargas
My father, a former world champion, always says learning never stops. He’s still picking up new things, and so am I. To be the best, you must continuously evolve.
I feel fantastic. Training camp went great, and I’ve kept the momentum going since my last fight. I’m constantly improving, getting stronger, and this is just the beginning.
Get ready for an electrifying display. I pride myself on my speed and technical skills. I aim to be recognized as one of the most technically proficient boxers in the coming years. Watch out for a knockout.