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Emanuel Navarrete, Jessie Magdaleno likely to meet in October for vacant WBO featherweight title

Navarette (right) opens up on Jeo Santisima. Photo by Mikey Williams/ Top Rank
Fighters Network

Top Rank won the rights to promote the vacant WBO featherweight title fight between former WBO junior featherweight titleholders Emanuel Navarrete and Jessie Magdaleno, the sanctioning body announced Tuesday.

Top Rank was the only promotional company who participated in Tuesday’s purse bid, submitting a bid of $250,000. 

The announcement comes as no surprise as both Navarrete and Magdaleno are promoted by Top Rank, who plan on promoting the fight on either October 17 or 24, likely in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Navarrete (32-1, 28 knockouts), who resides in Mexico City, vacated the WBO junior featherweight title last month, announcing he was officially moving up in weight to 126 pounds. The announcement came a few days after Shakur Stevenson vacated the WBO featherweight title to move up in weight and campaign as a junior lightweight.

The WBO placed Navarrete as the mandatory challenger to the featherweight title after Guillermo Brito Rodriguez, who advises Navarrete, made a request to the sanctioning body on the same day Navarrete announced he was moving up in weight. The WBO does have a bylaw within its rules that allows world titleholders to become the mandatory challenger after officially vacating their world title belt and moving up in weight.

Navarrete, who is also co-promoted by Zanfer Promotions, won the WBO junior featherweight title in December 2018, defeating Isaac Dogboe by unanimous decision. Navarrete successfully defended the title five times in a span of over nine months, with the latest coming on February 22 in Las Vegas, stopping Jeo Santisima of the Philippines in round 11.

In his last bout on June 20, the 25-year-old battered journeyman Uriel Lopez before the fight was stopped in round 6.

Magdaleno (28-1, 18 KOs), who resides in Las Vegas, lost the WBO junior featherweight title in his second title defense, dropping Dogboe before losing by knockout to the fighter from Ghana in April 2018.

The 28-year-old southpaw has since won his last three bouts. Magdaleno, who is managed by Frank Espinoza, was victorious in his last bout on June 11, defeating Yenifel Vicente by disqualification after the Dominican-born fighter was deducted points for throwing and landing low blows multiple times during the fight.