While the WBC has been hogging the spotlight as far as fight orders go, the WBO is also making itself heard. The sanctioning body has officially ordered reigning featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete to face Oscar Valdez for their super featherweight title, which Shakur Stevenson lost on the scale ahead of his recent victory over Robson Conceicao.
Though the pair were reportedly already in negotiations, they now have a hard 10-day time limit to avoid a purse bid. It’s an in-house Top Rank fight, so hopefully there shouldn’t be too many obstacles.
Interestingly, Jake Donovan reports that Navarrete (36-1, 30 KO) will not have to vacate his 126-pound title. Should he emerge victorious, he’ll have another 10 days to decide which belt he’ll keep going forward. I’m personally hoping he drops back down, both because I’d love to see him trade hands with fellow champions Rey Vargas and Josh Warrington and because it would be very funny if the WBO had to immediately go through this process again.
All joking aside, there’s not a lot to complain about here. This is clash of two inordinately tough seek-and-destroy fighters, one a physically gifted and endlessly creative slugger and the other a well-schooled and relentless hooker. It screams “Fight of the Year candidate.: