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Emanuel Navarrete to defend on Wilder vs. Fury 2 undercard on Feb.22

Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury boxing photo and news image

By Jim Maltzman: The exciting WBO super bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete (30-1, 26 KOs) is being talked about defending his title on the undercard Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury 2 on pay-per-view on February 22 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, according to @MikeCoppinger.

That spot was supposed to have been filled by heavyweight contender Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller, but he and Top Rank Boxing haven’t signed a deal yet.

Navarrete (30-1, 26 KOs) is a great addition to the Wilder-Fury 2 card. The question is will his promoters at Top Rank be able to find him a suitable opponent to face him with a little over a month to go before the fight?

The knockout artist Navarrete, 24, has destroyed his last three opponents, and he needs a bigger test for him at this point. He’s too good for the opposition that he’s been matched against lately.

2019 was busy year for Navarrete

Navarrete shocked the world in defeating WBO 122-lb champion Isaac Dogboe by a 12 round unanimous decision in December 2018. Going into that fight, Navarrete was expected to lose in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans, but took the fight to Dogboe, and wore him down. It was a busy year for the 24-year-old Navarrete in 2019. He fought 4 times in defending his World Boxing Organization super bantamweight title repeatedly

In his rematch with Dogboe, Navarrete stopped Dogboe in the 12th round in May 2019.  Navarrete dropped Dogboe in the 12th. The fight was then stopped by Dogboe’s corner. That was a match that was exciting with the give and take between both fighters.

Dogboe got the worst of it, but he kept coming back to land nice shots. However, the nonstop punches from Navarrete was ultimately too much for Dogboe, and he ended up falling apart in the 12th.

Navarrete being groomed for stardom

Top Rank wants to turn Navarrete into a star in North America, so they’re keeping him busy. It’s good that he’s able to fight up to 4 times a year, because that’s the best way for him to become popular quickly. What Navarrete needs now is good opponents for him to fight. It’s not enough for him to fight 4 times a year if his opponents are over-matched. Navarrete needs good opposition at 122 or from the 126lb weight class.

These would be good options for Navarrete’s fight on February 22:

  •  TJ Doheny
  • Stephen Fulton
  • Murodjon Akhmadaliev
  • Azat Hovhannisyan
  • Carlos Castro
  • Michael Conlan
  • Jessie Magdaleno
  • Kid Galahad

It’s unlikely that any of those quality fighters would want to take a fight with Navarrete on a month’s notice, but anything is possible for the right amount of money. Navarrete needs to need to fight guys out of his weight class for him to have a better chance of finding opponents that will be competitive with him.

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