By Sam Volz: Emanuel Navarrete (36-1, 30 KOs) weighed in at 129.2 pounds on Thursday at the weigh-in for his fight against Liam Wilson (11-1, 7 KOs) this Friday night for the vacant WBO super featherweight title on ESPN at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
Wilson weighed in at 126.3 lbs for his battle against the former two-division world champion Navarrete for their 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. start time card live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+
It will be interesting to see how Navarrete performs against Wilson because this is the third division for the Mexican warrior. When Navarrete campaigned at 122 & 126, he had a huge size advantage over his opponents, but now that he’s moving up to 130, he’s no longer bigger than his opposition.
Arnold Barboza Jr. 139.2 vs. Jose Pedraza 138.7
Richard Torrez Jr. 222.2 vs. James Bryant 253.4
Andres Cortes 131.2 vs. Luis Melendez 130.6
Nico Ali Walsh 159.8 vs. Eduardo Ayala 160.9
Lindolfo Delgado 142.1 vs. Clarence Booth 142.4
Emiliano Fernando Vargas 133.4 vs. Francisco Duque 135.4 lb
It might be more difficult for Navarrete to continue to dominate as he’d done before because he’ll need to depend more on his punch output & power than ever before.
If Navarrete wins, his promoters at Top Rank will likely match him against former two-weight world champion Oscar Valdez next. That’s going to be a really tough fight for Navarrete because Valdez is on a different level than anyone he’s faced thus far, and there’s a very good chance that he’s going to get exposed against that kind of a talent.
Navarrete is a good fighter, but he’s been facing beatable opposition his entire professional career, and he’s going to be on the receiving end of punishment for the first time when he goes up against Valdez.
Navarrete, 28, and Wilson are taking advantage of Shakur Stevenson losing his WBO 130-lb title when he came in over the limit last September for his title defense against Robson Conceicao.
In co-feature weights, former two-division world champion Jose Pedraza (29-4-1, 14 KOs) weighed in at 138.7 lbs for his 10 round fight against Arnold Barboza Jr (27-0, 10 KOs). Barboza weighed 139.2 lbs.
“My team and my corner have been fundamental to my development,” said Navarrete. “Liam Wilson comes with a strong desire to win the world title. And that’s why I’ve been focused on him 100 percent.”
“Navarrete is a great champion, but I plan to give him the fight of his life. I’m going to win,” said Liam Wilson.