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Oscar Valdez planning May return, then Emanuel Navarrete title fight

Oscar Valdez withdrew from a fight with Navarrete after injuring his ribs

Oscar Valdez v Shakur Stevenson Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Looks like we won’t be getting Emanuel Navarrete vs Oscar Valdez right off the bat. Salvador Rodriguez reports that Valdez, who withdrew from a vacant title fight with “Vaquero” after suffering a rib injury, is targeting a May return before facing Navarrete later this year.

For his part, Navarrete (37-1, 31 KO) tells ESPN KnockOut that while he’d expected to face Valdez (30-1, 23 KO) immediately, he’s keen to defend his title in the interim. It would definitely be nice to see Navarrete return to his old >=3-fight-per-year activity level, and it should also give “Vaquero” more time to acclimate to 130 after that scare against Liam Wilson.

Much as I want instant gratification, I can’t exactly fault Valdez for making this move. He hasn’t fought since Shakur Stevenson outclassed him last April, and Navarrete is the last person you’d want to fight at less than 100%. Let’s just hope we don’t run into any tea issues this time.

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