Navarrete to Defend WBO Bantamweight Title Against Horta

Emanuel Navarrete will defend the WBO bantamweight title against Francisco Horta this weekend in Puebla, Mexico.

Updated: Dec. 4, 2019 • 10:30 PM ET

Puebla, Mexico will host this weekend's WBO bantamweight title fight.

Emanuel Navarrete will defend the WBO bantamweight title against fellow Mexican fighter Francisco Horta this Saturday in Puebla, Mexico.

After winning the title by unanimous decision against Isaac Dogboe in 2018, Navarrete (29-1, 25 KOs) will defend the belt for the fourth time in seven months. The 24-year-old Mexican fighter hasn’t lost a fight since his sixth professional fight in 2012, when he lost a highly controversial decision to Daniel Argueta.

The champion most recently defeated Juan Miguel Elorde by fourth-round TKO in September, his third straight knockout since winning the title. Including Elorde, Navarrete has defeated key opponents such as Dogboe (twice), Francisco De Vaca and Jose Sanmartin.

The fight with Horta will be Navarrete’s first fight in Mexico since winning the title.

“I am very excited to close the year by defending my world title in my beloved Mexico,” Navarrete said via Top Rank. “This will be another dream that will be fulfilled, and I assure you another exciting fight. I always go for the knockout.

“I think it is best to win by knockout, and on Dec.7, the fans in Puebla will see another action-packed fight from ‘El Vaquero’.”

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Horta (20-3-1, 10 KOs), who last fought in August with a majority decision win over Francisco Alarcon, is on a 10-fight winning streak since boxing Marco Antonio Chable to a draw in 2016. All three of his losses have come by decision, and he hasn’t tasted defeat since 2014.

While the 26-year-old Horta is enjoying a winning streak, he has claimed victories against lower level competition. Navarrete does just about everything right in the ring, and Horta is a massive underdog (+1100 - Bovada); so if he wants to claim the upset, Horta will have to be better than Navarrete in the bigger moments because he has little to zero chance of out-boxing the champion en route to a victory on the scorecards.

A second title fight will be on Saturday’s card, as IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas will defend the belt against Miguel Gonzalez.

One of boxing’s longest reigning world champions, Ancajas (31-1-2, 21 KOs) will defend the title for the eighth time since winning the belt by unanimous decision over McJoe Arroyo in 2016. The 27-year-old Filipino fighter most recently defeated Ryuichi Funai by sixth-round stoppage in May and suffered his only defeat by majority decision to Mark Anthony Geraldo in 2012.

Gonzalez (31-2, 8 KOs) is coming off a TKO victory over Jimson Garcia in October, his second straight win after suffering the second loss of his career, a title eliminator to Andrew Moloney by TKO in March. The Chilean’s willingness to stay busy despite the loss has earned him a shot at his first major title. The 30-year-old Gonzalez, however, will fight outside of Chile for just the second time in his career.


• Start time/how to watch: The main card can be seen on ESPN+ at 9 p.m. this Saturday.

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