One of the top fighters in the junior-featherweight division is ready to make his return to the ring. How long will he stay there though?
This Saturday, June 20, Emanuel Navarrete will be representing his country of Mexico inside TV Azteca Studios in Mexico City. The current WBO Junior-Featherweight Champion is set to face off against Uriel Lopez in a non-title bout. This would be his tenth bout since 2018, where he has won eight of them via some form of knockout. Winning the title from Isaac Dogboe in December 2018, he has defended the title five times.
“He’s a real warrior and he loves nothing better than to fight,” Top Rank CEO Bob Arum stated about Navarrete to ESPN. “And he doesn’t care who the opponent is. He’s going to go in and fight.”
Navarrete is set to fight Uriel Lopez (13-13-1), who is on a three-fight losing streak. Making his debut in 2012, the highest Lopez’s win streak has gone has been three. With six wins via knockout, however, he is a true challenge for the well-rested Navarrete.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has been tough for Navarrete to train. What he has done, however, is work with his uncle Pedro Navarrete and his son Pedro Jr. in Mexico City. Doing whatever he can, Navarrete is hoping a win can help refuel him for future goals.
Navarrete is not shy about switching divisions one day. He would be very interested in facing competition at 126, except if he was offered the winner of Naoya Inoue v. Johnriel Casimero. He mentioned to ESPN he wants to face fighters like Shakur Stevenson, Josh Warrington, and Leo Santa Cruz, among others.
“Including the belt I have right now at junior featherweight, I want to conquer two more divisions,” Navarrete went on to say. “That’s what I see myself in three to five years, becoming a three-division champion.”
The main card action for Navarrete’s fight against Lopez will begin at 11 p.m. ET on ESPN programming.