Mexican star Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete and Australian contender Liam Wilson will struggle for the vacant WBO junior light-weight world title Friday, Feb. 3, at Desert Diamond Area in Glendale, Arizona. Navarrete, the reigning WBO featherweight world champion, hopes to change into the tenth Mexican-born boxer to win world titles in three weight divisions.
Junior welterweight contenders collide within the 10-round co-feature as Arnold Barboza Jr. hopes to earn a career-best victory towards Jose “Sniper” Pedraza, a former two-weight world champion from Cidra, Puerto Rico. 
Navarrete-Wilson, Pedraza-Barboza, and the return of U.S. Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr. in a six-round heavyweight particular function might be broadcast reside on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST.

Navarrete (36-1, 30 KOs), from San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico, received the WBO junior featherweight crown from Isaac Dogboe in December 2018 and made 5 defenses of that title in a nine-month span. He out-hustled Ruben Villa to win the vacant WBO featherweight strap in October 2020 and has since defended that title thrice. Navarrete is likely one of the sport’s premier offensive fighters, an aggressor who wings punches from all angles. In his October 2021 title protection over Joet Gonzalez, he threw 979 punches over 12 rounds, together with 104 within the twelfth spherical. He returned to the ring in August, rebounding from a gradual begin to knock out countryman Eduardo Baez with a physique shot within the sixth spherical. The Baez victory marked Navarrete’s thirty first consecutive victory courting again to 2012.
“That is my alternative to change into a three-division world champion. I’m going for that crown,” Navarrete stated. “Liam Wilson is an effective fighter, however that is my second, and everybody will see a way more full ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete that has quite a lot of thirst for victory. My perfect weight is 130 kilos, and that might be demonstrated on February third after I change into world champion for Mexico and San Juan Zitlaltepec. Wilson is not going to get in the best way of my dream.”
Wilson (11-1, 7 KOs), from Caboolture, Australia, is the WBO No. 3 junior contender. He has by no means fought away from his residence nation, however he’ll take the almost 8,000-mile journey hoping to spring a significant upset. Wilson stepped as much as struggle Navarrete after Oscar Valdez suffered a coaching damage and enters the struggle with momentum on his aspect. After a shocking fifth-round TKO loss to Filipino contender Joe Noynay in July 2021, Wilson gained revenge in March with a second-round knockout courtesy of his “left hook from hell.” He stored the momentum moving into June with a 10-round unanimous choice over former world title challenger Matias Rueda.
Wilson stated, “He is a champion, a warrior, and a family identify around the globe, however now it is my time. I am coming to upset the parade. I’ve waited my total life for this second, and I will not let it slip as a result of it means extra to me. I swore an oath to my father on his deathbed that I’d at some point win a world title for him. I am wanting ahead to fulfilling this promise on February third.”
Barboza (27-0, 10 KOs), from South El Monte, California, is ranked within the high 10 by the WBC and WBO. The longtime contender turned professional in 2013 and has steadily climbed up the rankings with victories over Mike Alvarado, Alex Saucedo, and Antonio Moran. In July, Barboza returned from an 11-month layoff to grab the ‘0’ from Danielito Zorrilla in a crowd-pleasing 10-round essential occasion.

Barboza stated, “It’s a giant card, and there might be quite a lot of eyes on us. Pedraza is a formidable opponent. He’s my hardest to this point and has solely misplaced to the easiest. I am wanting ahead to the problem. At this level, anybody I face is standing in the best way of my objective, which is to win a world title. I’m going to make a giant assertion on February third.”
Pedraza (29-4-1, 14 KOs) dominated the junior light-weight and light-weight divisions earlier than shifting as much as the junior welterweight ranks in 2019. He’s 3-2-1 as a junior welterweight, having shared the ring with most of the division’s most notable names. In March, he pushed former unified champion Jose Ramirez 12 rounds earlier than dropping a good unanimous choice. Lower than six months later, he battled former light-weight champion Richard Commey to a attract a struggle most observers imagine Pedraza did sufficient to edge out. Pedraza had a Madison Sq. Backyard essential occasion towards Teofimo Lopez scheduled for December tenth, however Pedraza withdrew with a non-COVID viral an infection. The 33-year-old understands a victory over Barboza strikes him nearer to a world title alternative.
Pedraza stated, “I’ve recovered fully from the sickness that obligated me to tug out of my struggle with Teofimo Lopez. Proper now, I really feel 100%, and I do know Arnold Barboza Jr. is likely one of the greatest fighters within the division. I am certain this might be an incredible struggle the place I’ll reaffirm my degree as an elite fighter at 140 kilos.”
Torrez (4-0, 4 KOs), from Tulare, California, captured an Olympic silver medal in Tokyo and turned professional below the Prime Rank banner in March. A 6’2, 230-pound southpaw, Torrez has by no means been prolonged previous the third spherical in his younger profession. In October, he shined at Hulu Theater at Madison Sq. Backyard, thrilling the New York Metropolis followers with a third-round stoppage over Ahmed Hefny. 
Undercard bouts — streaming reside and completely on ESPN+ — embrace a lot of Prime Rank’s burgeoning younger skills.

Las Vegas product Andres “Savage” Cortes (18-0, 10 KOs) takes on Puerto Rican knockout puncher Luis Melendez (17-2, 13 KOs) in a crossroads junior light-weight tilt scheduled for 10 rounds. Cortes, a former U.S. newbie standout, notched a near-shutout over Abraham Montoya in his final outing.
Middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh (7-0, 5 KOs), grandson of “The Biggest,” seems to make it 8-0 towards Phoenix-based spoiler Eduardo Ayala (9-2-1, 3 KOs) in a six-rounder. That is the 2023 debut for Ali Walsh, who went 4-0 with three knockouts in 2022.
Light-weight sensation Emiliano Fernando Vargas (2-0, 2 KOs), son of former junior middleweight world champion Fernando Vargas, returns in a four-rounder towards an opponent to be named. Vargas made his Prime Rank debut in November and knocked out Julio Martinez within the second spherical with a highlight-reel left hook.
Sacramento native Xavier Martinez (18-1, 12 KOs) seeks his second straight ‘W’ in a 10-rounder at junior light-weight towards an opponent to be named.
Junior welterweight Lindolfo Delgado (16-0, 13 KOs), a 2016 Mexican Olympian, steps up towards Clarence Sales space (21-6, 13 KOs) in an eight-rounder. In August, Delgado authored a career-best victory over then-unbeaten prospect Omar Aguilar. The eight-round shootout ranked among the many yr’s greatest motion fights.

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