Oscar Valdez Calls for a Clash with Newly Crowned WBO Champ Emanuel Navarrete
In an early candidate for Fight of the Year, Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete (38-1, 32 KOs) overcame a fourth-round knockdown to blast out tough Australian Liam Wilson in nine to capture the vacant WBO junior lightweight title. With the win, Navarrete became a three-division world champion.
Wilson was a substitute opponent for two-division champion Oscar Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) who was ordered to face Valdez but had to bow out due to an undisclosed injury. During the lead-up to his win over Wilson, Navarrete said that this bout was his attempt to test the waters at 130.
BRING IT ON
The expectation is that his permanent residence will be at junior lightweight, with a fight with Valdez in the immediate future. During the post-fight interview, Valdez was asked about a meeting with Navarrete and said the following:
“I think Vaquero Navarrete’s style and my style would be the perfect fight, and hopefully we can do it in Arizona or wherever. Vaquero Navarrete and me want the fight. Let’s make it happen.”
READY TO FIGHT
Valdez is chomping to get back in the ring since a loss to two-division champion Shakur Stevenson in April 2022. With Valdez and Navarrete aligned with Top Rank, there would not seem to be any impending issues preventing it from happening.
In this sport, styles indeed make fights. Valdez is not shy to stand and fight. Ditto for the newly crowned WBO 130-pound champ. Following Navarrete’s thrilling win over Wilson, look for the drumbeats to bang even louder for a clash between Navarrete and Valdez later this year. That potential battle has the makings to be another barnburner.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.