Emanuel Navarrete Finalizing Deal to Fight Oscar Valdez in Q1 2023

Emanuel Navarrete could be heading back to the ring in early 2023…

The 27-year-old Mexican professional boxer, a two-division world champion, and Oscar Valdez are in the process of finalizing a deal for a fight in the first quarter of 2023, according to ESPN.

Emanuel Navarrete,It’s expected one of the two 130-pound titles vacated by Shakur Stevenson will be on the line in the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN main event.

There are no signed contracts at this time, sources said, for a matchup that will feature fellow action fighters from Mexico. Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told Fight Hype on Wednesday “that fight, I think, is definitely gonna happen.”

Navarrete, ESPN’s No. 1 boxer at 126 pounds, will move up to junior lightweight for the biggest fight of his career. He is the WBO‘s featherweight champion; he’s made three defenses of the belt he won in October 2020.

Navarrete (36-1, 30 KOs) also held a title at 122 pounds. A volume-punching brawler, Navarrete is coming off a sixth-round KO of Eduardo Baez in August.

Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) is a former champion at featherweight and junior lightweight. The 31-year-old Olympian suffered the first loss of his pro career in April, a lopsided decision against Stevenson in a unification bout.

ESPN’s No. 3 boxer at 130 pounds, Valdez tested positive for the banned stimulant phentermine last summer ahead of a decision victory over Robson Conceicao.

Robson Conceicao Defeats Xavier Martinez by Decision

Robson Conceicao is back with a vengeance…

In the first fight since his first pro defeat of his career by Oscar Valdez, the 33-year-old Brazilian professional boxer dominated Xavier Martinez on Saturday.

Robson Conceicao,Fighting far more aggressively than he did in his controversial decision loss to Valdez, the judges scored the bout 98-92, 99-91 and 100-90 in Conceicao’s favor.

With the impressive performance in the 10-round ESPN main event, Conceicao (17-1, 8 KOs) set himself up for another title opportunity at 130 pounds.

“I was able to be dominant this evening because I put in such hard work because I was motivated,” said Conceicao, an Olympic gold medalist. “I know I should be the champion. I know I beat Oscar Valdez. He has a fight against Shakur Stevenson, and I think Shakur is going to win. But as a fan and a fighter, I want Oscar to win because he owes me a fight.”

Besides the third round, when Martinez buckled his opponent with a left hook in the closing seconds, Conceicao was in control. He used his long jab to beat Martinez to the punch consistently and befuddled him with his excellent footwork.

Martinez, who was making his Top Rank debut after a long stint with Mayweather Promotions, emerged with a swollen right eye in the first loss of his pro career. The 24-year-old from Sacramento was stepping way up in competition following a career-best win over fringe contender Claudio Marrero.

“I know I didn’t do enough to win; I sat back too much,” said Martinez. “I didn’t listen to the game plan fully. It is what it is. I’m not going to be a sore loser. He did his thing tonight. It wasn’t my night. I’m not done. This is just the beginning.”

But Conceicao is a legitimate top-10 boxer in one of boxing’s best weight classes, ranked No. 9 by ESPN (Martinez entered No. 10). And he wants a chance at revenge.

“I learned a lot from that Oscar Valdez loss, and that’s why I was able to dedicate myself,” Conceicao said. “I wasn’t discouraged by what happened that evening. I know who I am, and I knew if I put in the work, I could have this type of performance. But my mind is set on Valdez, and I definitely want that shot.”

Oscar Valdez Finalizing Deal to Battle Shakur Stevenson in Junior Lightweight Title Unification Fight

Oscar Valdez is readying for a unifer

The 31-year-old Mexican professional boxer is finalizing a deal for a 130-pound title unification fight against Shakur Stevenson on April 30 in Las Vegas, according to ESPN sources.

Oscar Valdez

No financial agreement has reportedly been reached for the proposed ESPN main event.

After Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) scored a brutal knockout of Miguel Berchelt in February to claim a junior lightweight title, Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) publicly lobbied for the title opportunity. Instead, Stevenson settled for a shot at Jamel Herring, another 130-pound titleholder promoted by Top Rank.

Stevenson, 24, seized his chance with the best performance of his career, a 10th-round TKO of Herring in October. Long dogged by criticism that he doesn’t fight aggressively, the Newark, New Jersey, native applied nonstop pressure during the one-sided beating.

Now, Stevenson is on the verge of landing the fight he wanted all along but with two belts on the line.

While the Olympic silver medalist enters the potential fight with momentum on his side, Valdez is looking for redemption.

The two-time Olympian from Mexico tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug phentermine in August, just weeks before he was set to make the first defense of his title.

Despite the adverse finding, Valdez was allowed to fight Robson Conceicao as planned. Valdez was installed as a heavy favorite but struggled during the first half of the bout en route to a controversial decision victory.

Valdez was ESPN’s No. 1 boxer at 130 pounds before he was dropped from the rankings due to the failed test. Stevenson is currently ESPN’s No. 1 junior lightweight.

Vergil Ortiz, Jr. to Reportedly Train with Eddy Reynoso

Vergil Ortiz, Jr. is making a big change…

The 23-year-old Mexican professional boxer, one of the fastest rising stars in boxing, has a new trainer.

Vergil Ortiz Jr.

The undefeated welterweight, who has long been with former trainer of the year Robert Garcia, will be under the guidance of Eddy Reynoso as he prepares for his first bout of 2022.

Ortiz will train with Reynoso at Canelo Alvarez‘s San Diego gym, according to ESPN.

Ortiz denied Friday that the change to Reynoso is happening. Garcia, meanwhile, posted a YouTube video in which he confirmed that Ortiz told him last month that he was opting to leave Garcia’s camp.

Reynoso is best known for training Canelo, the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world. Along with Alvarez, Reynoso is the trainer of star lightweight Ryan Garcia, former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr., 130-pound champion Oscar Valdez, heavyweight Frank Sanchez and 112-pound champion Julio Cesar Martinez.

Coming off a Boxing Writers Association of America Trainer of the Year campaign, Reynoso now adds Ortiz.

Ortiz makes the change on the heels of the biggest year of his career. He stepped way up in competition with a seventh-round KO of former champion Maurice Hooker in March and then topped that performance with an eight-round TKO of Egidijus Kavaliauskas in August.

Ortiz (18-0, 18 KOs) is now eyeing a January return with Reynoso in his corner.

Oscar Valdez Defeats Robson Conceicao to Retain WBC Super-Featherweight Title

Oscar Valdez is keeping his title…

The 30-year-old Mexican boxer retained his WBC super-featherweight title with a unanimous points victory over Brazil’s Robson Conceicao.

Oscar Valdez

Valdez had been cleared to fight despite failing a drug test.

Judges at Casino del Sol in Tucson, Arizona, awarded the fight to Valdez 117-110, 115-112, 115-112.

Former Olympic champion Conceicao, 32, took the fight to the man he had beaten as an amateur and started the stronger.

But as he tired, Valdez started to take the upper hand and judges decided he had done enough to win.

Some have questioned whether the fight should have gone ahead at all after Valdez failed a test for the banned substance phentermine, a weight-loss drug, but was cleared to fight by a gaming commission.

Valdez insisted he was a clean fighter and believed he had accidentally ingested it via an herbal tea, while WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said phentermine was not a performance enhancer.

Oscar Valdez Agrees to New Multi-Fight Deal with Top Rank

Oscar Valdez is ready for the next chapter of his boxing career…

The 30-year-old Mexican boxer and WBC junior lightweight champion has signed a new multi-fight contract with Top Rank, including his first defense of that belt this fall.

Oscar Valdez

Valdez won the title in his last fight, upsetting Miguel Berchelt on February 20. He is 29-0 with 23 knockouts, including winning four of his past five fights by knockout or technical knockout.

“I want to thank Bob Arum and Todd duBoef for their confidence in my abilities,” Valdez said in a news release announcing the deal. “I will not let them down. I also want to thank my manager, Frank Espinoza, for securing a great deal for me. This is a wonderful moment in my career, and I’m grateful to God for my blessings.”

Prior to his junior lightweight crown, Valdez held the WBO featherweight title from July 23, 2016, when he knocked out Matias Rueda, until his unanimous decision victory over Jason Sanchez on June 8, 2019, for a total of six title defenses.

“I have been very fond of Oscar from the moment we signed him,” Top Rank chairman Arum said in a statement. “And I am proud of everything he has accomplished.”

Oscar Valdez Scores Knockout of the Year Against Miguel Berchelt to Claim WBC Junior Lightweight Title

Oscar Valdez has scored the knockout of the year…

The 30-year-old Mexican boxer, a former WBO featherweight titleholder and a two-time Olympian, took down Miguel Berchelt at the MGM Grand on Saturday night to claim the WBC junior lightweight title.

Oscar Valdez

Valdez’s upset win came after he rocked Berchelt (38-2, 34 KOs) with a left hook in the final second of the 10th round in an immediate favorite for knockout of the year.

Many expected Saturday’s fight between Berchelt and Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs)

to be a back-and-forth bout between two Mexican fighters. But, the violence was mostly one-sided.

Oscar Valdez

“There’s nothing better in life than proving people wrong,” said Valdez, who entered the fight as a plus-240 underdog, according to Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill. “I have a list of people who doubted me. My idols doubted me. Boxing analysts doubted me. They said Berchelt was going to knock me out. I have a message to everybody: Don’t’ let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do.

Berchelt, whose only other professional loss came via TKO in 2014, remained on his back on the canvas for several minutes but was eventually able to sit and stand with assistance.

He was taken to a hospital afterward, and Top Rank president Todd DuBoef told ESPN that he underwent a CT scan that came back clear. Berchelt was expected to be released from the hospital Saturday night.

The stunning walk-off shot might have overshadowed the fact the much smaller Valdez dominated the fight. He scored knockdowns in the fourth and 10th rounds and was well ahead on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the finish.

Judges had Valdez, who was born in Mexico but grew up in Arizona, ahead by scores of 89-80, 88-81 and 87-82.

“Oscar Valdez proved he is one of the great Mexican champions,” said Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. “An absolute masterpiece in the ring tonight.”

Valdez outlanded Berchelt 149-99 in total punches and 103-64 in power punches, according to CompuBox.

The victory, which is Valdez’s third consecutive appearance at 130 pounds, could set up a junior lightweight title fight between Valdez and Top Rank’s Shakur Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs), who was in attendance inside the “bubble” on Saturday and has expressed interest in taking on Valdez. Top Rank president Todd DuBoef said he would love to set up a fight between the two undefeated junior lightweights.

“I want to take this belt home, and I’m happy for that. Any champion out there … I heard Shakur Stevenson wants to fight,” Valdez said. “Let’s do it. I just want to keep on fighting and give the fans what they want.”

Miguel Berchelt’s WBC Super Featherweight Championship Bout Against Oscar Valdez Rebooked for February

It could be a February to remember for Miguel Berchelt

The 29-year-old Mexican professional boxer will face off against Oscar Valdez in a rebooked WBC super featherweight championship fight on February 20, Top Rank president Todd duBoef has revealed.

Miguel Berchelt

The championship fight was originally supposed to take place on December 12 but was postponed when Berchelt tested positive for COVID-19 in November. According to duBoef, the event will air on ESPN.

Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) will be seeking his seventh 130-pound WBC title defense. His most recent defense came against Jason Sosa via knockout in November 2019. Officially, he has finished 15 of his past 16 opponents.

Undefeated Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs), a former featherweight champion, is coming off a knockout non-title win over Jayson Velez in July.

Berchelt and Valdez both were born in Mexico. Valdez is currently training out of San Diego.

Ryan Garcia’s WBC Title Bout Against Luke Campbell Moved to January 2021

Ryan Garcia will have to wait a month to get back in the ring…

A date has been finalized for the rescheduled vacant WBC title bout between the 22-year-old Mexican American boxer and Luke Campbell. The two will fight on Saturday, January 2, DAZN has announced.

Ryan Garcia

Garcia and Campbell were scheduled to fight on December 5 in Los Angeles, but the fight was postponed after Campbell tested positive for COVID-19 on November 10.

“My mindset going into this fight hasn’t changed, and my training hasn’t stopped,” Garcia said. “I’m excited we have a new date and can finally bring this to the fans. I’m here, and I’m ready to ring in the new year with a victory … let’s go!”

Campbell, who has resumed training back in England, doesn’t seem too concerned about the short delay. “New date, new year, same result,” said Campbell. “I’m fully back in training and have never felt better. What a way to start 2021. This is going to be with a clinical Luke Campbell win.”

Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) hasn’t fought since a first-round KO victory over Francisco Fonseca in February. Garcia trains with Eddy Reynoso, who also trains middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, junior lightweight contender Oscar Valdez and former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr.

Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs), 33, lost a unanimous decision challenging then lightweight unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko in August 2019.

Devin Haney is theWBC lightweight titlist and Teofimo Lopez Jr. is the WBC “franchise” champion.

Felix Verdejo to Fight Masayoshi Nakatani in December

Felix Verdejo will be returning to the ring next month…

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer and lightweight contender will fight Masayoshi Nakatani on December 12, Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti has told The Athletic.

Felix Verdejo

The fight will be the co-main event of a Top Rank card at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.

Verdejo (27-1, 17 KOs) was injured in a motorcycle accident in August 2016 but returned to the ring six months later and has a record of 5-1 since then, including an impressive first-round TKO victory over Will Madera in July.

Japan’s Nakatani (18-1, 12 KOs) made his U.S. debut in July 2019 and was the first fighter to take Teofimo Lopez the distance, losing a hard-fought unanimous decision at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Top Rank is still looking for a replacement main event after Miguel Berchelt tested positive for COVID-19 and his fight against Oscar Valdez was postponed.

Former featherweight titlist Shakur Stevenson offered to step in for Berchelt and told ESPN on Tuesday that he had asked his team to inquire about the possibility of fighting Valdez on short notice.