By Dan Ambrose: Former two-division world champion Emanuel Navarrete (36-1, 30 KOs) will be moving up to 130 this Friday, February 3rd, to battle #3 Liam Wilson for the vacant WBO super featherweight title LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ at the Desert Diamond Arena, in Glendale, Arizona. The event starts at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Navarrete, 28, is looking to become a three-division world champion against the little-known Australian Wilson (11-1, 7 KOs) in the main event. Oscar Valdez has shown interest in fighting Navarrete, and that’s a fight that would be a lot more interesting than the one that’s happening this Friday.
Despite having captured world titles in two weight classes, the only name on Navarette’s resume is Isaac Dogboe.
- Jose Pedraza vs. Arnold Barboza Jr.
- Andres Cortes vs. Luis Melendez
- Nico Ali Walsh vs. Eduardo Ayala
- Lindolfo Delgado vs. Clarence Booth
- Xavier Martinez vs. Yohan Vasquez
- Richard Torrez Jr. vs. James Bryant
- Emiliano Vargas vs. Francisco Duque
- Yves Ulysse Jr. vs. Javier Molina
Besides him, Navarrete’s other notable names on his 11-year resume are these fighters: Ruben Villa, Christopher Diaz, and Joet Gonzalez. That’s basically it. Just four names and none of them are super talents.
Many boxing fans believe Valdez will do a number on Navarrete because he’s beaten no one, and he struggled mightily to defeat Villa and Gonzalez. Those guys gave Navarrete all kinds of trouble.
It’s likely that if Shakur Stevenson still held the WBO super featherweight title, Navarrete wouldn’t be coming up in weight to try and capture the belt. Shakur is on another level than Navarrete and would dominate him.
It’s unclear why on earth the World Boxing Organization has given Wilson a #3 ranking with their organization at 130 because he’s beaten no one notable during his five-year professional career. Wilson was beaten by Joe Noynay by a fifth round knockout in 2021.
While Wilson did avenge the loss by a second round TKO last year in April, it still looks bad that he was stopped by this level of opponent.
In Wilson’s last fight, he edged Matias Carlos Adrian Rueda by a 10 round unanimous decision last year in June.
Some boxing fans might remember Rueda from his fight with Oscar Valdez in 2016. Valdez easily knocked out Rueda in the second round. The fact that Wilson barely beat Rueda last year says a lot about his talent level, or lack thereof.
The undercard is stacked, with excellent fights, with undefeated light welterweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr taking on former two-division world champion Jose ‘Sniper’ Pedraza in the chief support bout.