Emanuel Navarrete and Eduardo Baez make weight for WBO 126-pound title clash
Emanuel Navarrete, who is ranked No. 1 at 126 pounds by The Ring, and Eduardo Baez made weight for Saturday night’s WBO featherweight title fight at Pechanga Arena, in San Diego, California (ESPN, 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).
Both fighters weighed in at 125.8 pounds.
Navarrete (35-1, 29 knockouts), who resides in San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico, will be making the third defense of the WBO featherweight title. In his most recent bout, on October 15, Navarrete defeated Joet Gonzalez by unanimous decision.
The 27-year-old won the vacant WBO title in October 2020 by defeating previously-unbeaten Ruben Villa by unanimous decision. Navarrete knocked Villa down twice during the fight.
Navarrete is co-promoted by Top Rank and Zanfer Promotions. He also held the WBO junior featherweight title.
Baez (21-2-2, 7 KOs), who resides in Mexicali, Mexico, defeated Enrique Vivas by majority decision in his most recent bout, on March 26. Four months prior to the Vivas fight, the 27-year-old lost by majority decision to Ra’eese Aleem.
In the co-feature, welterweight Giovani Santillan will square off against Julio Luna Avila (19-0-2, 10 KOs), of Gomez Palacio, Mexico, in a 10-round bout.
Both Santillan and Luna weighed in at 147.4 pounds.
Santillan (29-0, 16 KOs) will be fighting for the second time in his hometown of San Diego within the last year. On October 15, which also took place at Pechanga Arena, Santillan defeated Angel Ruiz by unanimous decision.
In the opening bout of the “Top Rank on ESPN” telecast, Nico Ali Walsh (5-0, 4 KOs), the grandson of Muhammad Ali, will face Reyes Sanchez (7-2, 3 KOs), of Topeka, Kansas, in a four-round middleweight bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.
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