Navarrete to Defend WBO Super Bantamweight Title Against De Vaca

Emanuel Navarrete will defend the WBO super bantamweight title against undefeated challenger Francisco De Vaca this weekend.

Updated: Aug. 15, 2019 • 5:55 PM ET

Los Angles will host this weekend's WBO super bantamweight title fight.

The WBO super bantamweight title will be on the line this Saturday, as surging young champion Emanuel Navarrete will defend the belt against undefeated challenger Francisco De Vaca at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.

Navarrete will defend his belt for the second time after defeating Isaac Dogboe in May with an outstanding 12th-round TKO that made a major statement in the boxing world. To the surprise of many, the Mexican fighter earned the title by defeating Dogboe via unanimous decision last December, which quickly turned into an immediate rematch.

Dogboe was once considered the future of the division, but Navarrete’s decision victory in the first fight snapped his five-fight finish streak. The 24-year-old Navarrete is prepared to defend his title once again.

“We had a great preparation,” Navarrete said via “We want to be a champion for a long time and for that we have prepared thoroughly. We’re ready for whatever my opponent brings and we’ll achieve this victory that allows us to think about unifying the title.”

Navarrete (27-1, 23 KOs) hasn’t lost since 2012. He hadn’t fought in the United States until the first fight with Dogboe in 2018 and understands what he needs to do to defeat his young and hungry opponent this weekend.

“I feel very strong with a lot of lung capacity,” Navarrete said. “We’re willing to fight at full pace for 12 rounds. My opponent is a young fighter, undefeated, with a lot of hunger to win.

“He’ll be dangerous, but we’ll climb into the ring with full focus and preparation to keep the championship.”

De Vaca, the No. 11 ranked super bantamweight by the WBO, last defeated Ernesto Guerrero by unanimous decision in February. The 24-year-old turned professional in 2013 and has amassed a 20-0 record with six knockouts. The Mexican born fighter, who fights out of Phoenix, has defeated notable opponents including Victor Proa and Christian Esquivel. Navarrete, however, represents the biggest challenge thus far in De Vaca’s young career.

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De Vaca now has the opportunity to play the same spoiler role Navarrete did against Dogboe. Should the champion win, though, Navarrete could eye a unification bout with WBC champion Rey Vargas or IBF and WBA champion Daniel Roman. If De Vaca can pull off the upset, a unification of the division could be put on hold yet again for a possible rematch with Navarrete.


• The main card can be seen on ESPN at 10 p.m. ET

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