Robson Conceicao to Fight O’Shaquie Foster for Foster’s WBC Junior Lightweight Title

Robson Conceicao is gunnin’ for a title…

The 35-year-old Brazilian professional boxer, a two-time super featherweight world title challenger and an Olympic gold medalist, will fight O’Shaquie Foster for Foster’s WBC junior lightweight on July 6 in Newark, New Jersey, per ESPN.

Robson Conceicao,The 130-pound title fight will serve as chief support to the Shakur StevensonArtem Harutyunyan lightweight title bout on ESPN.

Foster (22-2, 12 KOs) is ESPN’s No. 2 junior lightweight. The 30-year-old, who fights out of Houston, made his second title defense in February with a split decision victory over Abraham Nova. A 12th-round knockdown helped Foster avoid a draw.

Foster blamed a “bad weight cut” for his performance and vowed to come back stronger for his next title defense. He won the title last February when he defeated Rey Vargas and then successfully defended it in October with a 12th-round TKO victory over Rocky Hernandez. Foster was down wide on two of the three scorecards when he scored the come-from-behind KO to retain his title.

Conceicao (18-2-1, 9 KOs) is 0-2-1 in title fights, but his two losses came when he was at a disadvantage. He dropped a disputed decision to Oscar Valdez in September 2021 just weeks after Valdez tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Conceicao’s second crack at a title was a decision loss to Stevenson, who was stripped of his belt due to being 1.5 pounds overweight.

Conceicao’s third title bid was in November, and he suffered two knockdowns but still pulled out a draw with Emanuel Navarrete.

Conceicao returned last month with a seventh-round TKO victory over Jose Ivan Guardado.

Emanuel Navarrete Finalizing Deal to Fight Denys Berinchyk for Vacant WBO Lightweight Title

Emanuel Navarrete is thisclose to locking in his next opponent…

The 29-year-old Mexican professional boxer, a three-division world champion, and Denys Berinchyk are finalizing a deal for a May 18 fight in San Diego for the vacant WBO lightweight title, per ESPN KnockOut.

Emanuel NavarreteThe 135-pound title tilt will headline Top Rank Boxing on ESPN.

Navarrete (38-1-1, 31 KOs) will pursue his fourth division title in his lightweight debut. The 29-year-old from Mexico has captured titles at 122, 126 and 130 pounds. He’s ESPN’s No. 1 boxer at 130.

The second defense of the WBO junior lightweight title Navarrete still holds was in November. Navarrete dropped Robson Conceicao twice but settled for a draw.

Now, Navarrete will fight for the title vacated by former undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney. Oscar Valdez and Liam Wilson, two fighters Navarrete defeated in convincing fashion last year, will vie for the WBO interim junior lightweight title on March 29.

It’s likely the winner of Valdez-Wilson will be elevated to recognized champion if Navarrete wins as expected.

Berinchyk (18-0, 9 KOs) is a 35-year-old from Ukraine who will vie for his first world title. He’s coming off back-to-back wins over Yvan Mendy and Anthony Yigit, his best opposition. However, Berinchyk will still step up several levels against Navarrete.

Welterweight contender Giovani Santillan, a 32-year-old from San Diego, will fight in the ESPN co-feature, sources said. He’s coming off a career-best win, a sixth-round KO of Alexis Rocha in October.

Oscar Valdez Finalizing Plans to Battle Liam Wilson in Junior Lightweight Fight

Oscar Valdez is hoping to rebound this March…

The 33-year-old Mexican professional boxer, a former world champion in two weight classes, is finalizing plans for a junior lightweight fight with Liam Wilson for March 29 in Glendale, Arizona, per ESPN sources.

Oscar Valdez

Valdez and Wilson both lost to Emanuel Navarrete last year in 130-pound title slugfests.

Valdez (31-2, 23 KOs) hasn’t competed since the wide-points loss in August. He’s a former titleholder at 126 and 130 pounds. He’s ranked No. 6 by ESPN at junior lightweight.

Wilson (13-2, 7 KOs) scored two decision wins in his native Australia last year following the February defeat to Navarrete.

Wilson, 27, was a long-odds underdog but floored Navarrete in Round 4. Navarrete rebounded to stop Wilson in the ninth round.

Valdez’s defeat to Navarrete as well as Wilson’s loss both took place in Glendale as well. Valdez-Wilson will headline a Friday edition of Top Rank Boxing on ESPN.

Emanuel Navarrete Retains WBO Junior Lightweight Title with Majority Draw Over Robson Conceicao

Emanuel Navarrete has retained his WBO junior lightweight title.

The 28-year-old Mexican boxer floored Robson Conceicao twice but settled for a majority draw in his title defense bout on Thursday at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

Emanuel NavarreteNavarrete (38-1, 31 KOs) dropped Conceicao in Round 4 and again in Round 7.

He was on the verge of stopping the challenger in the penultimate round as the referee inched closer to the action, but Conceicao never wilted.

Conceicao, an Olympic gold medalist from Brazil, won the final round on all three scorecards to avoid defeat in his third challenge and likely earn a rematch.

One judge scored the 130-pound title bout 114-112 for Navarrete but was overruled by two 113-113 tallies.

“I’m happy to come away with the belt,” Navarrete, ESPN‘s No. 1 boxer at 130 pounds, said through an interpreter. “We both did what we said we were going to do. … He’s a tremendous fighter. His technique is next level, and that’s what it makes it so hard.

“If it’s up to me, I would definitely give Robson a rematch because he definitely deserves it.”

Navarrete (38-1-1, 31 KOs) dropped Conceicao in the fourth with a right hand to the temple and then knocked him down again three rounds later with a right hand to the body.

Conceicao (17-2-1, 8 KOs) was happy to stay in the pocket, though, regardless of the power disparity. He jabbed and moved and connected on combinations while Navarrete swarmed him with his patented awkward angles.

With both eyes swollen, Conceicao saved his best for the final round as he took the fight to the champion.

“I think we both deserve a rematch,” Conceicao, ESPN’s No. 7 junior lightweight, said through an interpreter. “I proved what I’m capable of. I give ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete a lot of credit. He’s a powerful fighter, but I know what I did tonight. I deserved the victory.”

If it weren’t for the two knockdowns, Conceicao, 35, would have earned the win. But instead, he likely earned a rematch with a career-best performance.

His first two title shots didn’t come on an even playing field. When he challenged Oscar Valdez in 2021, he did so weeks after Valdez tested positive for a banned substance but was allowed to compete. Conceicao settled for a controversial decision loss.

One year later, Conceicao challenged Shakur Stevenson for a title, but Stevenson weighed in over the 130-pound limit and cruised to victory.

Navarrete, meanwhile, was coming off a win over Valdez in August in his first title defense. The 28-year-old also won titles at 122 and 126 pounds.

Emanuel Navarrete to Defend WBO Junior Lightweight Title Against Robson Conceicao

Emanuel Navarrete is going on the defensive…

The 28-year-old Mexican professional boxer will defend the WBO junior lightweight title against Robson Conceicao on November 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Emanuel NavarreteThe fight, which will be Navarrete’s third of 2023, will serve as the chief-support bout to the Shakur StevensonEdwin De Los Santos lightweight title fight.

Navarrete (38-1, 31 KOs) scored the biggest win of his career in August, taking a wide-points victory over former champion Oscar Valdez.

A three-division champion, he also captured titles at 122 and 126 pounds and is ESPN’s No. 1 boxer at 130 pounds.

Conceicao (17-2, 8 KOs) will vie for a world title for a third time. The 34-year-old Brazilian was set to stay busy on Friday night underneath the ESPN main event between Luis Alberto Lopez and Joet Gonzalez.

But with the title fight presented to him earlier this week, Conceicao was a late scratch from his bout with Humberto Galindo.

“I had to three fight three times to become champion,” Conceicao told ESPN’s Mark Kriegel on Friday on the ESPN broadcast. “It’s my time.”

Conceicao’s two losses came in title fights, both under extenuating circumstances. The Olympic gold medalist dropped a disputed decision to Valdez in 2021 after Valdez tested positive for a banned substance.

Conceicao challenged Stevenson for a 130-pound title last year, but Stevenson missed weight before he soundly outpointed Conceicao.

Emanuel Navarrete Defeats Oscar Valdez to Retain WBO Junior Lightweight Title

Emanuel Navarrete is keeping his title…

In an all-out slugfest on ESPN, the 28-year-old Mexican boxer (38-1, 31 KOs) retained his WBO junior lightweight title against Oscar Valdez via unanimous decision by scores of 116-112, 118-110 and 119-109. ESPN scored it 116-112.

Emanuel Navarrete“I feel happy to have been part of this … next great chapter of Mexican boxing history,” Navarrete said through an interpreter. “I am happy and appreciate Oscar for the great fight that we delivered.”

“Thank God I won,” he added. “I appreciate what he did in the ring. He is a Mexican warrior. If people want a rematch, they will demand it.”

Round after round, Navarrete fired punches from awkward angles, rarely setting his feet. He uncorked looping right hands and lefts from uncanny trajectories while in constant motion. He totaled a dizzying 1,038 punches for the fight, more than double the output of Valdez, who threw just 436.

Valdez (31-2, 23 KOs) was content to march forward and exchange with Navarrete, a strategy that rarely worked. When he took a step back, he often missed wildly on home run swings. He did, however, connect plenty with his left hook, the same shot that brutally knocked out Miguel Berchelt in 2021 to win the WBC junior lightweight title.

When Valdez drilled Navarrete with the counter left hook in Round 2 and the champion didn’t so much as budge, it was clear trouble was in store for the challenger.

Slowly but surely, Valdez’s right eye closed and turned purple under duress from Navarrete’s punishing, whirlwind attack. Even when Navarrete indicated that his right hand was injured late in the fight, he continued to throw with his power hand.

“It was a small inflammation in my right hand,” Navarrete said. “But the more you hit it, the tougher it gets. But I had to overcome it.”

Navarrete entered the fight rated No. 2 by ESPN at junior lightweight after he defeated Australia’s Liam Wilson to win the vacant title in February. Wilson stepped in six months ago to replace Valdez, who was injured, and almost pulled off the upset. Wilson scored a knockdown in Round 4 of Navarrete’s 130-pound debut, but Navarrete rallied to stop him in Round 9.

On Saturday night, Navarrete scored not just a second victory at 130 pounds but the biggest win of his career.

“He is a warrior,” said Valdez, who lived in Tucson, Arizona, during parts of his childhood. “I tried my best. We gave it our best. He is a warrior. He is a true champion.”

“I’m sorry I disappointed everyone,” Valdez added. “I feel terrible. I wanted to give you all a great fight. I hope you enjoyed the fight. I hope to return strong.”

A two-time Olympian, Valdez, 32, emerged with his face badly bruised and swollen, the product of Navarrete’s thudding shots. Of course, he’s no stranger to fighting through trying circumstances.

In a 2018 featherweight title defense against Scott Quigg, Valdez battled through a broken jaw to win a decision. His jaw was wired shut afterward.

He has been floored multiple times in his career but always bounced back to win outside of his fight last year against pound-for-pound talent Shakur Stevenson. And now, for the second time in three outings, Valdez will look to bounce back.

Navarrete, meanwhile, appears to be improving with each fight and each new weight class. He made his pro debut in 2012 at 112 pounds and won his first title in 2018 when he upset Isaac Dogboe. He then turned back Dogboe in the rematch before notching four more junior featherweight defenses against limited opposition.

At 126 pounds, Navarrete defeated Ruben Villa in 2020 to capture a vacant title and went on to score far more impressive wins against quality opponents, including victories over Joet Gonzalez and Eduardo Baez.

He has defeated the top boxer in ESPN‘s 130-pound ratings and once again was able to overwhelm his foe with not just volume but bruising power.

Navarrete will continue to be in demand, a champion on top of his weight class who consistently delivers action fights — and another in a long line of brave fighters from Mexico.

Emanuel Navarrete to Reportedly Defend WBO Junior Lightweight Title Against Oscar Valdez

Emanuel Navarrete has lined up his next opponent…

The 28-year-old Mexican professional boxer will defend his WBO junior lightweight title against Oscar Valdez on August 12 in Glendale, Arizona, according to ESPN.

Emanuel Navarrete The title fight between the Mexican action fighters will headline Top Rank Boxing on ESPN.

The bout was scheduled to take place on February 3 for the title vacated by Shakur Stevenson before Valdez withdrew because of a lingering rib injury.

Navarrete (37-1, 31 KOs) faced replacement opponent Liam Wilson in February and rallied from a fourth-round knockdown to score a ninth-round TKO victory in one of the best fights this year.

The win made Navarrete a three-division champion. He also captured titles at 122 and 126 pounds.

In Valdez, Navarrete will face his toughest test yet. The former two-division champion rebounded from his first career defeat (an April 2022 loss to Stevenson) with a unanimous-decision victory over Adam Lopez in a rematch last month.

Valdez (31-1, 23 KOs) won titles at 126 pounds and 130 and is a two-time Olympian.

He’s regarded as one of the best action fighters in boxing.

Oscar Valdez to Fight Adam Lopez in a 130-Pound Rematch Bout in May

Oscar Valdez will be headed to the boxing ring this May…

The 32-year-old Mexican professional boxer, a former two weight world champion, will face Adam Lopez in a 130-pound rematch on May 20 in Las Vegas, according to ESPN sources.

Oscar ValdezThe bout will serve as chief support for the Devin HaneyVasiliy Lomachenko fight for the undisputed lightweight championship on ESPN+ PPV, per source.

Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) defeated Lopez (16-4, 6 KOs) via seventh-round stoppage in November 2019, but the fight was far tougher than accepted. Lopez, a major underdog, floored Valdez in Round 2 before the Mexican Olympian rallied for the TKO victory.

Valdez and Lopez were set to fight different opponents on that night, but after Valdez’s original opponent came in overweight, the matchup was pieced together for the following night.

“I was very surprised [by the knockdown],” Valdez said at the time. “I take my hat off to Adam Lopez. He’s a great fighter, great warrior, just like his father [Hector Lopez] was. I just got hit. This is boxing. I prepared myself for two, three months for [Adrian] Gutierrez. Got a new opponent, but that’s no excuse. This kid is a warrior.”

This time around, they’ll have ample time to prepare for one another in advance.

Valdez was set to fight Emanuel Navarrete on February 3 for the vacant WBO junior lightweight title but withdrew because of a rib injury.

Navarrete went on to win the title with a ninth-round TKO victory over Liam Wilson. If Valdez defeats Lopez again as expected, Navarrete will defend the title vs. Valdez later this year, per source.

But first, Valdez must contend with Lopez. Valdez, 32, lost his 130-pound title in April when Shakur Stevenson routed him. Prior to that, he defeated Robson Conceicao in September 2021 after Valdez tested positive for the banned substance phentermine.

Lopez, 26, owns only one win over the past two years, sandwiched by decision losses to Isaac Dogboe and, most recently, Abraham Nova in January. He was floored twice vs. Nova.

“I would love a rematch with Oscar; he’s a true fighter,” Lopez said in November 2019. “I’m not a 130-pounder, but I’m a real fighter as well, so I’ll take on anybody, anywhere.”

Emanuel Navarrete Defeats Liam Wilson by TKO to Claim the Vacant WBO Junior Lightweight Title

Emanuel Navarrete is celebrating a new title…

The 28-year-old Mexican professional boxer outlasted Liam Wilson in a back-and-forth slugfest on Friday night in Glendale, Arizona, to claim the vacant WBO junior lightweight title with a ninth-round TKO.

Emanuel NavarreteNavarrete was floored by the 8-1 underdog in Round 4 — the first knockdown of his career — but rallied to score a knockdown in Round 9 with a looping right hand. There were more than two minutes remaining in the round, and Navarrete didn’t waste any time.

With Wilson wobbling around the ring, blood pouring from his nose, Navarrete (37-1, 31 KOs) pinned him on the ropes and unloaded punches. The referee finally halted the ESPN main event at 1:57 of Round 9 with Wilson on his feet.

“This was an amazing victory because it tested me,” Navarrete, now a three-division champion, said in remarks translated from Spanish. “I needed to know that I was capable of going to the canvas, getting up, and come out with the victory, and now I know.”

Navarrete, who was ahead on all three scorecards (77-74, 76-75 and 77-74) entering Round 9, was campaigning at 130 pounds for the first time. He was originally slated to fight Oscar Valdez before his countryman withdrew with a rib injury.

Valdez, a former two-division champion, entered the ring afterward to set the stage for a highly anticipated showdown with Navarrete later this year. Valdez’s return is targeted for May, sources told ESPN, in a tuneup bout coming off the injury.

Navarrete, meanwhile, was able to escape a pivotal Round 4 to keep the Valdez payday intact. Wilson (11-2, 7 KOs) was given little shot to find any success but did so when he connected on a stinging left hook late in the round. A bundle of follow-up shots sent Navarrete to the canvas hard.

But in a wily maneuver, Navarrete spit out his mouthpiece to buy precious recovery time. The referee accommodated him as 27 seconds passed between the moment he touched the canvas and the resumption of the action.

“I’m disappointed, but I knocked him down in the fourth round, and I believe the count was a bit longer,” said Wilson, who trained in Washington D.C. with respected coach Barry Hunter. “I thought I won the fight in that sense because I think it was about a 20-second count. I’ll be back. Make no mistake about it.”

Wilson could regret how Round 5 played out. Navarrete was still on unsteady legs, but Wilson didn’t take advantage, perhaps fatigued from the knockdown sequence. By the end of the round, Navarrete clearly found his bearings. He was suddenly cracking Wilson with his awkward yet effective punches that seemingly came from all angles.

Navarrete continued to pour on punishment in Round 6, but Wilson responded with another counter left hook that rocked the favorite. Only this time, Navarrete didn’t go down.

He began to swarm with power punches as Wilson searched for one fight-ending shot that never materialized. When Round 7 ended, the sustained offense appeared to finally impact Wilson, who was visibly hurt.

Navarrete sensed the end was near, and over the final two rounds, continued to push forward with nonstop punches. He finally broke through in Round 9 when a right hand dropped Wilson.

The Australian never recovered his balance, and as Navarrete threw punch after punch, the referee halted the action and ended the scare for the A-side fighter.

Navarrete, ESPN’s No. 1 boxer at 126 pounds, still holds the WBO featherweight title, but must formally decide which division he’ll campaign at moving forward.

Robeisy Ramirez to Fight Isaac Dogboe in April in Featherweight Bout

No April Fools’ joke… Robeisy Ramirez is heading back to the ring in April.

The 29-year-old Cuban professional boxer will face Isaac Dogboe in a featherweight bout with title implications on April 1 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to ESPN.

Robeisy RamirezThe Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ main event is expected to be contested for either the vacant WBO featherweight title or the interim belt.

Emanuel Navarrete, the WBO champion at 126 pounds, meets Liam Wilson on February 3 for the WBO’s vacant title at 130 pounds. Navarrete is expected to fight Oscar Valdez in a rescheduled 130-pound bout afterward but could always elect to return to 126.

Ramirez (11-1, 7 KOs) is a two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba who broke out in 2022 with three victories, most notably a highlight-reel KO of Abraham Nova in June. He closed the campaign with a ninth-round TKO of Jose Matias Romero in October.

Dogboe (24-2, 15 KOs) is a former 122-pound champion who lost his title to Navarrete via decision in 2018. Navarrete scored a 12th-round TKO in the rematch the following year. Dogboe, 28, from Ghana, moved up to 126 pounds afterward and has won all four of his featherweight fights.

Those wins came over some recognizable names, including Adam Lopez, Christopher Diaz and most recently, Joet Gonzalez.

Dogboe is rated No. 10 by ESPN at featherweight. Ramirez and Dogboe are the top two available contenders in the WBO’s 126-pound ratings.