Emanuel Navarrete insisted previous to struggle week that he’s not but accomplished with the featherweight division.
That mentioned, the 28-year-old Mexican appeared comfy at Thursday’s weigh-in forward of his bid to turn out to be a three-division titlist. Navarrete was 129.2 kilos for his scheduled twelve-round struggle with Australia’s Liam Wilson, who checked in at a career-light 126.3 kilos for his U.S. debut.
The 2 will meet for the vacant WBO junior light-weight title this Friday, headlining an ESPN tripleheader starting at 10:00 p.m. ET from Desert Diamond Enviornment in Glendale, Arizona.
Navarrete (36-1, 30KOs) appeared much more replenished than the earlier time he needed to make weight for a struggle. The 2-division and reigning WBO featherweight titlist wanted two tries to get throughout the featherweight restrict for his August 20 title protection versus countryman Eduardo Baez. Navarrete appeared equally sluggish by 5 rounds earlier than he flipped the change and closed the present with a one-punch, sixth-round knockout to defend the WBO 126-pound crown for the third time and run his report to an ideal 10-0 in title fights.
Wilson (11-1, 7KOs) enters his first profession title struggle, which additionally marks his first professional bout exterior of Australia. The 26-year-old junior light-weight avenged his lone profession defeat two fights in the past, scoring a second-round knockout of Joe Naynoy as a part of his present two-fight win streak. He was attributable to face England’s Archie Sharp in a beforehand scheduled January 28 Showtime occasion in Las Vegas earlier than he was tabbed to interchange an injured Oscar Valdez (30-1, 22KOs) in Friday’s major occasion.
The co-feature pits unbeaten junior welterweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr. (27-0, 10KOs) versus former two-division titlist Jose Pedraza (29-4-1, 14KOs) in a scheduled ten-round affair.
Los Angeles’ Barboza was 139.2 kilos for his first struggle since a ten-round, unanimous choice victory over Danielto Zorrilla of their battle of unbeaten contenders final July 15 in Temecula, California.
Pedraza weighed 138.7 kilos for a struggle that comes lower than two months after a missed golden alternative. The previous junior light-weight and light-weight titlist from Cidra, Puerto Rico was attributable to face former unified light-weight champ Teofimo Lopez final December 10 at Madison Sq. Backyard in New York Metropolis. Nevertheless, he fell unwell and withdrew, leaving him out of the ring since a ten-round draw with Richard Commey final August 27 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Opening the telecast, heavyweights Richard Torrez Jr. (4-0, 4KOs) and James Bryant (6-2, 4KOs) collide in a scheduled six-round affair.
Torrez—a 2020 Olympic Silver medalist from Tulare, California—tipped the scales at 222.2 kilos, his lightest up to now as a professional. Pittsburgh’s Bryant was 253.4 kilos, his heaviest since returning to the ring in 2019 after a nine-year absence.
Under are the weights for the remainder of the undercard, which airs on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Andres Cortes (18-0, 10KOs), Las Vegas, 131.2 kilos vs. Luis Melendez (17-2, 13KOs), Bayamon, Puerto Rico, 130.6 kilos—10 rounds, junior light-weight
Nico Ali Walsh (7-0, 5KOs), Las Vegas through Chicago, 159.8 kilos vs. Eduardo Ayala (9-2-1, 3KOs), Phoenix, 160.9 kilos—6 rounds, middleweight
Lindolfo Delgado (16-0, 13KOs), Monterrey, Mexico, 142.1 kilos vs. Clarence Sales space (21-6, 13KOs), Saint Petersburg, Florida, 142.4 kilos—8 rounds, junior welterweight
Emiliano Vargas (2-0, 2KOs), Las Vegas through Oxnard, California, 133.4 kilos vs. Francisco Duque (1-1, 0KOs), Baytown, Texas, 136.5 kilos—4 rounds, light-weight
Jake Donovan is a senior author for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox