When Will We See A Fight For The Vacant WBO Featherweight Title?
It appears that Top Rank isn’t wasting any time when it comes to finding a new holder of the WBO Featherweight Title. If all goes according to plan, the top two fighters within the WBO’s rankings will get their shot next month.
According to ESPN’s Salvador Rodriguez (via Bad Left Hook), Emanuel Navarrete and Jessie Magdaleno will face off for the title on either September 19 or 26. The fight would take place inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The title became vacant when Shakur Stevenson decided to make the move to 130 pounds after one fight. As a result, he vacated the 126-pound title and became the top contender in the junior-lightweight division. Around that same time, the WBO Junior-Featherweight Champion in Navarrete (31-1) moved up in weight to fight for the title.
Navarrete made his boxing debut in 2012. He won the WBO title from Isaac Dogboe in 2018 and beat him in a rematch to retain the title. He defended the title five times, with his last defense coming against Jeo Santisima back in February. The 25-year-old last fought in June, fighting Uriel Lopez to a no-contest. This was a result of the Mexico City Boxing Commission not sanctioning the bout.
Magdaleno (28-1), who has offered his services to fight for the WBO title, last fought in June, facing Yenifel Vicente a few days after Stevenson’s return bout. Following repeated low blows, one which resulted in a late knockdown, Vicente ended up losing via DQ. It was Magdaleno’s third win in a row following a loss to Isaac Dogboe in 2018. He lost the WBO Junior-Featherweight Title to Dogboe after winning it in 2016.
Fighters that were also in consideration to fight for the featherweight title include Michael Conlan and Ruben Villa.