UPDATE: The talks have reportedly already fallen apart, with Navarrete now expected to face Eduardo Baez in August. — Scott
Shakur Stevenson won’t be chasing further unification quite yet, but that delay is for a good cause. ESPN’s Salvador Rodriguez revealed today that he’s in talks to defend his super featherweight belts against WBO featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete, “tentatively in August or September.”
Not that clashes with fellow titlists Joe Cordina and the winner of Roger Gutierrez vs. Hector Luis Garcia would be unwelcome, but there’s a whole lot to like about this one.
The clash of styles alone is ultra-tantalizing, putting the technical perfection of Stevenson (18-0, 9 KO) against the power, volume, aggression, and unorthodox offense of Navarrete (35-1, 29 KO). Size doesn’t figure to be an issue, either, as Navarrete is the same height as Stevenson and boasts an additional four inches of reach.
It’ll also be Navarrete’s first fight with a recognized elite since his duology with Isaac Dogboe. While the likes of Ruben Villa, Christopher Diaz, and Joet Gonzalez were solid tests, this is the sort of matchup we’ve been waiting years for Navarrete to enter.
My only personal request is that Navarrete return to 126 if he comes up short. There are some tasty matchups with Leigh Wood, Leo Santa Cruz, Mauricio Lara, and Mark Magsayo that I don’t want him to miss out on.