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Navarrete to fight Baez on Aug.20th, Shakur Stevenson talks collapsed

Image: Navarrete to fight Baez on Aug.20th, Shakur Stevenson talks collapsed

By Chris Williams: WBO featherweight champion Emmanuel Navarrete will be defending against #9 Eduardo Baez on August 20th next on ESPN instead of facing WBC/WBO 130-lb champion Shakur Stevenson in a far more appealing match-up.

The negotiations between Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) and Navarrete collapsed this week for a fight that would have taken place on September 23rd. It was close to being done, but it fell apart at the last part of the talks.

So instead, Navarrete will be making a voluntary defense against the 26-year-old Baez on August 20th.

Navarrete would have been an excellent opponent for the 24-year-old Stevenson to show what he can do against a fighter with a high work rate and excellent power.

You got to wonder which of the two fighters made things difficult in the negotiations.

It’s not a great fight for the 27-year-old Navarrete but it’ll keep him busy, and perhaps later a fight between him and Stevenson can be put together.

With Navarrete and Shakur both being promoted by Top Rank, it shouldn’t be too difficult for them to set up a fight at a later day, as long as both fighters want it.

Baez (21-2-2, 7 KOs) isn’t much of a puncher, as you can tell by his 28% KO rate during his nine-year professional career. His defeats have come against solid guys in Mauricio Lara and Ra’eese Aleem.

Baez’s two draws have come against Alfredo Mejia Vargas and Mario Lara Rivera. His defeat against Aleem came last year in November by a 10-round majority decision.

“Despite many advances in the negotiations, in the end, the fight was left for a better chance and the Mexican boxer is already focused on reappearing on August 20 against Eduardo Báez in San Diego,” said Salvador Rodriguez to ESPN Knockout about the Shakur Stevenson vs. Navarrete negotiations having collapsed.

“The plan was for Shakur Stevenson and Emanuel Navarrete to fight on September 23 in New Jersey; however, in the last stretch of negotiations pending making it official, the talks fell through.”

Stevenson wants to become the undisputed super featherweight champion, and he only needs to defeat IBF champion Joe Cordina and WBA champ Roger Gutierrez to make that a reality.

However, Shakur’s promoter Bob Arum doesn’t seem nearly as enamored by his goal of becoming the undisputed champion at 130 because neither of the two remaining champions that he needs to defeat is well-known to the casual boxing fans in the United States.

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