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 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.

Edwin De Los Santos Agrees to Fight Shakur Stevenson for Vacant WBC Lightweight Title

Edwin De Los Santos is ready to Shakur things up…

The 23-year-old Dominican boxer and Shakur Stevenson have agreed to a deal for a November 16 fight in Las Vegas for the vacant WBC lightweight title.

The 135-pound title bout will headline a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card two days before Formula 1‘s debut race on the Las Vegas Strip.

Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) had been slated to fight undefeated contender Frank Martin after a deal was reached last week, but Martin decided not to proceed with the bout after the contract was sent over. De Los Santos was the next available contender in the WBC‘s lightweight rankings.

De Los Santos (16-1, 14 KOs) has impressed in his past two fights. He rose off the canvas to score a third-round knockout of Jose Valenzuela in September 2022 and followed that with a unanimous-decision win over Joseph Adorno in July. De Los Santos’ lone defeat was an eight-round split decision against William Foster in January 2022.

Less than two years after that setback, De Los Santos will meet Stevenson, ESPN’s No. 9 pound-for-pound boxer, for the title formerly held by undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney.

The WBC named Haney “champion in recess” after he decided to move up to 140 pounds for a shot at the organization’s junior welterweight title. That fight for Regis Prograis‘ WBC title will take place December 9 in San Francisco.

“Most ducked fighter in the sport of boxing,” Stevenson posted on Instagram after Martin withdrew. “Edwin get ready, I’m tired of [you] saying my name.”

Stevenson, 26, is one of the fastest-rising stars in boxing. The Newark, New Jersey, native has won titles at 126 and 130 pounds and will look to do the same in a third weight class.

A southpaw who is perhaps the sport’s best defensive fighter, Stevenson scored a sixth-round stoppage of Shuichiro Yoshino in April in his lightweight debut.

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.

Luis Alberto Lopez to Defend IBF Featherweight Title vs. Joet Gonzalez

Luis Alberto Lopez is going on the defensive.

The 29-year-old Mexican professional boxer will defend his IBF featherweight title vs. Joet Gonzalez on September 15 in Corpus Christi, Texas, per ESPN.

Luis Alberto Lopez, El VenadoLopez, ESPN‘s top boxer at 126 pounds, will headline a “Top Rank on ESPN” show for the first time in the U.S.

Lopez won the title with a majority-decision victory over Josh Warrington in December and retained the belt with a brutal fifth-round TKO of Michael Conlan in May. Both bouts took place in the U.K.

Lopez (28-2, 16 KOs) has won 11 fights since a 2019 decision defeat to Ruben Villa. Now, Lopez will meet a fellow action fighter in Gonzalez, 29, who fights out of Los Angeles.

Two of Gonzalez’s three defeats came via decision in title challenges (against Emanuel Navarrete and Shakur Stevenson). Gonzalez (26-3, 15 KOs) also dropped a decision to Isaac Dogboe last year.

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.”

Oscar Valdez to Fight Emanuel Navarrete for Vacant WBO Junior Lightweight Title

Oscar Valdez will be fighting for a title in February…

The 31-year-old Mexican professional boxer will fight Emanuel Navarrete for the vacant WBO junior lightweight title on February 3 in Glendale, Arizona, according to ESPN.

Oscar ValdezThe Top Rank Boxing on ESPN main event will be supported by an intriguing co-feature between Jose Pedraza and Arnold Barboza Jr., both of whom are ranked in ESPN’s top 10 at junior welterweight.

Valdez and Navarrete will vie for one of the two titles vacated by Shakur Stevenson after he missed weight in September. The bout shapes up as a slugfest between two pressure fighters who have been involved in some brutal boxing matches.

Valdez, a two-time Olympian from Sonora, Mexico, spent a good portion of his childhood in Tucson, Arizona. He welcomed raucous fan support for his September 2021 decision victory over Robson Conceicao in Tucson and will now compete in a third title fight in Arizona.

That victory was marred by a positive test for the banned stimulant phentermine weeks before the bout.

Afterward, Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) was routed by Stevenson in an April title unification at 130 pounds, the first loss of his pro career. Valdez also held a title at 126 pounds. He’s currently rated No. 3 by ESPN at junior lightweight.

Navarrete, ESPN’s No. 1 featherweight, holds the WBO title at 126 pounds but will move up four pounds when he attempts to become a three-division champion. The lanky volume-puncher from San Juan Zitaltepec, Mexico, has made three defenses of the title he won in October 2020.

Navarrete (36-1, 30 KOs) also held a title at 122 pounds. He’s coming off a sixth-round KO of Eduardo Baez in August.

Pedraza (29-4-1, 14 KOs), a 33-year-old Puerto Rican, was set to fight Teofimo Lopez on Saturday but fell ill. Now Pedraza will meet Barboza in a fight with title implications at 140 pounds.

A former titleholder at 130 pounds, Pedraza is rated No. 10 by ESPN at 140. He’s coming off a draw with Richard Commey in August.

Barboza (27-0, 10 KOs) is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over Danielito Zorrilla in July. A 30-year-old from Los Angeles, Barboza is rated No. 6 by ESPN at 140 pounds.

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.