Emanuel Navarrete keeps busy with title defense in Mexico
Emanuel Navarrete is the embodiment of one who does not sit on a world title belt. Instead, he is willing to fight as often as possible, including being able to fight near his hometown.
Navarrete will defend his WBO junior featherweight title against Francisco Horta on Dec. 7, Top Rank announced. The 12-round bout will take place at the Auditorio GNP Seguros in Puebla, Mexico. ESPN+ will stream the fight live (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).
Also streaming on the Top Rank card will be IBF junior bantamweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas (31-1-2, 21 knockouts) facing challenger Miguel Gonzalez (31-2, 8 KOs) of Chile in a 12-round bout.
The fight against Horta will be a homecoming of sorts for Navarette (29-1, 25 KOs), who resides in the Mexico City area. Puebla is about an 80-mile drive southeast of Mexico City.
In his last fight on Sept. 14 in Las Vegas, Navarrete stopped Juan Miguel Elorde of the Philippines in the fourth round. The fight came four weeks after the 24-year-old knocked out Francisco De Vaca in round three at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.
Rather than rest and wait to defend his title in 2020, Navarrete has received praise for fighting often. Counting his world title defense against Isaac Dogboe on May 11, the hard-hitting Navarrete will be fighting for the fourth time in less seven months come Dec. 7.
“I am very excited to close the year by defending my world title in my beloved Mexico,” said Navarrete, who is co-promoted by Top Rank and Zanfer Promotions. “This will be another dream that will be fulfilled, and I assure you another exciting fight. I always go for the knockout. I think it is best to win by knockout, and on Dec. 7, the fans in Puebla will see another action-packed fight from ‘El Vaquero.’”
Navarrete is ranked No. 3 by The Ring. He will face a modest challenge from Horta, who resides in Cancun, Mexico and will be taking a significant step-up in opposition when he squares off against Navarrete.
Horta (20-3-1, 10 KOs) last fought on Aug. 10, grinding out a hard-fought majority decision over Mexico’s Francisco Alarcon over eight rounds. Horta has not lost since dropping a decision to Guillermo Rodriguez in August of 2014, a span of 13 fights.
The 26-year-old believes he will make the most of the opportunity on Dec. 7.
“The fans will get to know who I am on Dec. 7,” said Horta, who will be fighting for the first time for a world title belt. “This will be guaranteed war because we are both Mexican warriors. This is a golden opportunity. Definitely a dream that will come true sooner than expected. I will dispute the world title against the best 122-pounder in the world, Emanuel Navarrete. I will win the title at any cost.”
In preliminary action, three-time world featherweight title challenger Miguel Marriaga (28-3, 24 KOs) of Cartagena, Colombia will square off against Ensenada, Mexico’s Alfredo Mejia (14-2-3, 5 KOs) in an eight-round bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing