With one more win under each of their belts since their planned February meeting fell through, Dan Rafael reports and Jake Donovan confirms that Emanuel Navarrete will defend his WBO super featherweight title against Oscar Valdez on August 12th at Glendale, Arizona’s Desert Diamond Arena.
Navarrete (37-1, 31 KO) and Valdez (31-1, 23 KO) were slated to square off for the then-vacant belt, which Shakur Stevenson took from Valdez before losing it on the scales. When Valdez withdrew due to injury, Navarrete warred his way past Liam Wilson, while Valdez returned this past weekend with a decision over Adam Lopez.
Though both sit high in the rankings and aren’t in danger of falling from grace anytime soon, they’re in need of impressive performances. Navarrete struggled badly with Wilson, at one point hitting the deck and benefiting from an abnormally long grace period, and Valdez failed to shine in that decisive but unspectacular victory over Lopez.
Still, odds are we’re in for a violent treat.