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Emanuel Navarrete wants Inoue, Nery, or Akhmadaliev in short time left at 122

Navarrete has defended his WBO belt five times in under 12 months

Jeo Santisima v Emanuel Navarrete Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

The main criticism leveled towards WBO super bantamweight titlist Emanuel Navarrete, the busiest champion in the sport, it’s that he hasn’t faced a real contender since smashing Isaac Dogboe in their duolgy. “Vaquero,” who is staying in shape to be among the first back in action once boxing resumes, is looking to change that, hopping onto Facebook Live to lay out his list of ideal opponents.

Acknowledging that it’s difficult to keep making 122 pounds, Navarrete (31-1, 27 KO) claims he’ll still do it for an “interesting defense” that “people want to see.” He claims that WBC champ Rey Vargas has said he doesn’t want the fight, but that he’s eager to fight unified IBF/WBA champ Murodjon Akhmadaliev, bantamweight superstar Naoya Inoue, or newly minted super bantamweight Luis Nery.

And if those aren’t available, he says, the featherweight division has “many interesting rivals.”

Of that selection, Inoue and Nery are the most feasible, with Nery the likelier option. Navarrete is co-promoted by Top Rank and Zanfer, which also promote Inoue and Nery, respectively. With Rey Vargas presumably occupied with Emmanuel Rodriguez and Nery’s fight with Aaron Alameda scrapped, Navarrete-Nery looks very possible, and it’d be a hell of a fight.

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