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.

Erika Cruz to Defend WBA Junior Featherweight Title Against Nazarena Romero

Erika Cruz is going on the defensive…

The 33-year-old  Mexican professional boxer will defend her WBA junior featherweight title against Nazarena Romero on Saturday, May 11, per promoter Matchroom Boxing.

Erika Cruz,The fight at the Palenque de la Feria National de San Marcos in Aguascalientes, Mexico, will be the co-main event of Eduardo Hernandez‘s junior lightweight bout against Daniel Lugo.

Cruz (17-2, 3 KOs) is a two-division champion. She won the WBA featherweight belt with a technical decision victory over Jelena Mrdjenovich in April 2021. She made two successful defenses before losing the title to Amanda Serrano in a unification bout in February 2023. Cruz then moved up in weight and defeated Mayerlin Rivas in November to grab the WBA title at 122 pounds.

Her focus now is on title unification.

“I’m stepping into the ring not just to defend my title, but to conquer,” Cruz said in a news release. “Romero may be the mandatory opponent, but my sights are set on bigger dreams. Yamileth Mercado [WBC], Ellie Scotney [IBF], Segolene Lefebvre [WBO] — I’m coming for all the belts. Romero won’t be the one to stand in the way of my destiny.”

Romero (13-0-1, 7 KOs), of Argentina, will be fighting in her second consecutive title bout. In June, she challenged Rivas for the WBA junior featherweight belt, but the bout ended in a technical draw after Romero, who suffered a cut over her left eye because of an accidental clash of heads, was unable to continue. She now has another chance at the same belt against Cruz.

“I think my time has come,” Romero said. “In my life nothing was, is, or will be easy. I was born for this, and I feel like the best of all. I prepare like a champion, I think like a champion and I need to live like a champion.”

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.

Seniesa Estrada Fighting Yokasta Valle Next Month to Crown First Undisputed Strawweight Champion

Seniesa Estrada is preparing to fight for all the marbles…

The 31-year-old Mexican American professional boxer will fight Yokasta Valle to crown the first undisputed strawweight champion in women’s boxing history on March 29 at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

Seniesa EstradaThe fight will be the co-main event on the card featuring the Oscar ValdezLiam Wilson junior lightweight bout.

Estrada (25-0, 9 KOs), of East Los Angeles, won the WBA belt by defeating Anabel Ortiz in March 2021. After moving up four months later to fight for the WBO junior flyweight title in a victory over Tenkai Tsunami, Estrada made two successful defenses before adding the WBC title in a victory over Tina Rupprecht in March. She defended the two titles in a unanimous decision win over Leonela Paola Yudica in July.

Valle (30-2, 9 KOs) won the IBF belt in August 2019 against Joana Pastrana, and after five defenses, she unified the WBO belt with a unanimous decision win over Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen in September 2022. This will be Valle’s fifth defense of her unified titles.

Estrada, ESPN’s No. 5-ranked pound-for-pound fighter, was promoted by Golden Boy until she left to sign a multiyear deal with Top Rank in July 2022, saying at the time, “I wanted more money, what I felt I deserved.”

Valle, the No. 2-ranked fighter in the division behind Estrada, is promoted by Golden Boy and has been on Estrada’s radar since the days when they had the same promoter.

“It’s not personal for her, but it’s personal for me for many reasons,” Estrada said during a news conference Wednesday to announce the fight. “I’m competitive. I’m hungry to become undisputed. This is the fight that I’ve been trying to make and wanting to make since I was with Golden Boy Promotions around the time they first signed me.”

Costa Rica’s Valle noted she has been working hard for this moment, fighting in different divisions to become one day undisputed, and added that the rivalry is not personal, it’s just business.

“I just want to be a champion,” Valle said. “I want to be undisputed. Seniesa has two titles. That’s what I’m looking for. Not her. Simply the world titles is what I’m looking for. That’s what I’ve been working towards for many years.”

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.

WBO Orders Undisputed Featherweight Champion Amanda Serrano to Fight Danila Ramos in Mandatory Title Defense

Amanda Serrano has been assigned her next opponent…

The WBO has ordered the 34-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer, mixed martial artist and professional wrestler, the undisputed featherweight champion, to have a mandatory title defense against Danila Ramos, potentially lining up the next fight for ESPN‘s No. 3 pound-for-pound fighter.

Amanda SerranoBoth Serrano and Ramos last fought earlier this month.

Serrano (45-2-1, 30 KO) beat Heather Hardy by a unanimous decision in Dallas, and Ramos (12-2, 1 KO) defeated Brenda Karen Carabajal by split decision in Buenos Aires.

If the fight gets made, it will be the sixth defense of the WBO title for Serrano.

Ramos, 38, has been in three “interim” title fights in her career — losing a unanimous decision to Elhem Mekhaled for the WBC interim junior lightweight title in 2019, a split decision loss to Katharina Thanderz for the same belt later in 2019 and then defeating Carabajal for the “interim” WBO featherweight title earlier this month.

It’s not clear why there’s an interim title in the division since Serrano has been active since beating Hardy for the WBO title in 2019.

The WBO is giving the two sides 10 days to negotiate and come to a fight agreement before it gets sent to purse bid.

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.