Who Will be Fighting For The Vacant WBO Featherweight Title?

The quest to crown a new champion at 126 is officially on. If all goes according to plan, some of the top fighters now competing in the featherweight division will get a chance to prove they are the best within the division.

Recently, Shakur Stevenson vacated the WBO Featherweight Title to move up to 130. At the same time, junior-featherweight Emanuel Navarrete decided to move up 126. According to the WBO, Navarrete is ranked number one for the title. Ranked second is Jessie Magdaleno. WBO President Francisco Valcarcel told Boxing Scene that those two may end up clashing for the title. 

“That’s a fight we want. It will be a great battle. It will be interesting to see if the fight happens in the Bubble or not, but I would like the fight to take place no later than September and October,” said Frank Espinoza, Magdaleno’s manager. “It’s not going to be an easy fight, but we’re really motivated. My guy can prevail.”

Magdaleno (28-1) beat Yenifel Vicente via DQ following multiple low blows not long ago. During the fight, CompuBox had Magdaleno landing 64 punches out of 256 with 50 power punches landed. The former WBO Junior-Featherweight Champion is currently on a three-fight win streak. He was hoping for a fight between himself and Stevenson before the latter decided to move up. 

Navarrete (31-1), the now-former WBO Junior-Featherweight Champion, 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.

Both are eager to fight one another. If by any chance the two are not able to clash, another fighter will be in mind for a shot at the title.

“If Navarrete or Magdaleno is not available for whatever reason, we will then jump to No. 3 in Ruben Villa,” said Valcarcel. “We will touch base with Top Rank since both Navarrete and Magdaleno are promoted by them. We’ll then order the fight.”

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