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Emanuel Navarrete reportedly nearing deal to face Oscar Valdez for vacant 130 lb title

Emanuel Navarrete appears to be on the verge of adding a big name to his resume as he seeks another world title.

Emanuel Navarrete is targeting a vacant 130 lb title fight with Oscar Valdez.
Emanuel Navarrete is targeting a vacant 130 lb title fight with Oscar Valdez.
Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

With Shakur Stevenson vacating a couple world titles at 130 lbs, it’s now being reported by ESPN’s sources that there are talks in place to stage a vacant world title fight between Emanuel Navarrete and Oscar Valdez in the first quarter of 2023.

If the fight comes together, it would feature Navarrete making the move up from 126 lbs to take on the biggest name opponent he’s faced to date. Navarrete (36-1, 30 KOs) is most recently coming off a stoppage win over Eduardo Baez in August, where he retained his WBO featherweight title.

Meanwhile Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) last made an appearance this past April when he was thoroughly dominated by Shakur Stevenson in a two world title unification bout that clearly didn’t go his way.

This proposed fight would offer Valdez another immediate shot at a major belt, along with Navarrete who has largely been coasting since back-to-back wins over Isaac Dogboe between 2018-2019.

We certainly could use more good fights on the boxing schedule, so while there’s currently no signed contracts for this fight just yet, let’s just hope we can get this across the finish line.

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