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  • Photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Emmanuel Navarrete Oscar Valdez Final Press Conference



Emanuel Navarrete (37-1, 31 KOs) and Oscar Valdez (31-1, 23 KOs) are ready for an all-Mexican duel.


Navarrete will put his WBO junior lightweight world title on the line against former two-division world champion Valdez this Saturday, August 12, at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.


In the 10-round junior welterweight co-feature, rising contender Lindolfo Delgado (17-0, 13 KOs) will square off against Jair Valtierra (16-2, 8 KOs). U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist Richard Torrez Jr. (5-0, 5 KOs) will open the televised tripleheader in a six-round heavyweight tilt against Willie Jake Jr. (11-3-2, 3 KOs).


Navarrete-Valdez, Delgado-Valtierra, and Torrez-Jake will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.


The ESPN+-streamed undercard (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) will feature the returns of unbeaten lightweight phenom Emiliano Fernando Vargas and heavyweight southpaw Antonio "El Gigante" Mireles.


Vargas (5-0, 6 KOs) will fight Mexico's Jorge Luis Marquez Alvarado (3-5-1 2 KOs) in a four-rounder. Mireles will take on hard-hitting Ohio native Dajuan Calloway (7-2, 7 KOs) in a six-rounder.


In a six-round middleweight battle between two of Phoenix’s crowd favorites, Sergio Rodriguez (7-0-1, 6 KOs) and Eduardo Ayala (9-3-1, 3 KOs) will clash for intra-city bragging rights. Rising junior welterweight prospect Ricardo Ruvalcaba (9-0-1, 8 KOs) will make his fourth appearance of 2023 in a six-rounder against Adrian Orban (6-3, 4 KOs).


At Thursday's press conference, Navarrete and Valdez were joined by Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales. The Mexican legends will present the winner of Navarrete-Valdez with a commemorative jacket designed by Tijuana-born fashion designer Kiko Baez.


Promoted by Top Rank, tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com.


Below is what the fighters had to say:


Emanuel Navarrete


“We all know that this fight is raising a lot of expectations. It would be totally fraudulent if Valdez and I didn't give 100 percent in this fight. We all know that everyone expects a war in the ring. We have all that it takes to make for a great fight.”


“I have said that the fight with Valdez was necessary for my career because of everything it represents. The rivalry between Mexicans is something essential. It's a good thing for the fight. But boxing fans have also put a lot of pressure on me, saying that my career was missing that cherry on top. They said that I needed an impressive and iconic fight where I exert much more of myself. The fight with Valdez is that kind of fight."


“Obviously, the fact that Barrera and Morales are here indicates that our promoter wants to tell us something. We have to do something at least similar to what they did. That is the goal. Everything is set so that we can deliver a great fight. I see Valdez, and I see that he's ready. We're two days away from getting into the ring, and it's going to be a great night on Saturday."


Oscar Valdez

“This fight means the world to me. The loss to Shakur Stevenson sparked something different in me. It woke something up. It made me realize how much I missed boxing and how much I love the sport. The year away from boxing made me miss it so much. I also miss being a world champion. So, it also means the world to me to have another opportunity to become a world champion again.”

“Camp was great. It can be in Lake Tahoe, San Diego, Guadalajara or even China. camps are always the same for me. We train hard for each fight, but for this fight we trained even harder. We trained not only harder, but smarter. We have to be smart in this fight. We had a perfect camp. Eddy Reynoso and my team have done a great job, and we’re ready for this fight.”

“It’s an honor for Barrera and Morales to be here. It means the world to be because I grew up in the era of Barrera and Morales. These two don’t know how much they inspired me. That was the era that I grew up watching. They are warriors.”

“I want to win. I want to be a world champion again. I want to show the fans a good fight. So, I am ready.”


Marco Antonio Barrera


“I’m happy to have been invited for this tremendous fight. Every time there is a Mexican boxer in the ring, you will see a war. And on this occasion, Valdez and Navarrete know what’s going to happen in the ring. I think it will be the type of fight that all Mexicans know how to deliver."

“Fights between Mexicans will always be exciting. Here we have two Mexicans in the ring who want to be in one of the most historic fights between Mexican boxers. That’s what they are looking to do.”

Erik Morales

“This is a great opportunity for these two Mexican boxers to demonstrate that Mexican boxing is always very exciting. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with both separately. Both have said that there will be a great war. So, I’ve some to see this great war.”

“Mexicans fight because they have a big heart and for pride. The belts don’t matter. Nothing matters. The only thing that matters is determining who is the best fighter from Mexico.”


Lindolfo Delgado

“I would like to have some belts soon. I’d like to fight for a world title soon. I want to do what I have always dreamed of doing, which is to be a champion. But first thing’s first. I have to work hard and concentrate on this next fight.”

“I’ve come with a strong desire to do something impressive in this fight. I know that I have a strong opponent in front of me who has come to win. But I want to deliver a great show so that the people can enjoy it. That way, I can continue being on great cards like this one.”

Jair Valtierra

“I’m very excited to be part of such a big card. I know that is an opportunity for people to get to know me, and I will take advantage of it.”

“A victory this Saturday would elevate my career to an elite level. It will be the start of my story in professional boxing as a big name. I feel more than ready for this fight.”

Richard Torrez Jr.

“I’m feeling great. Camp was a long camp. But I’m excited that it’s fight week because we get to really focus on the fight now. We hit the gym last night when we got here. It’s a must for us now. We usually go out and run and then afterward we’ll shadowbox. It’s a way to acclimate and get used to the area. No matter where you are, it’s good get acclimated, and that first workout right after the flight is the right way to do it.”

Emiliano Fernando Vargas

“This has become a lifestyle. I’ve been in camp pretty much this whole year. I love what I do. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love going to the gym. I love feeling tired. I love pushing that extra mile. At the end of the day, to be able fight in front of thousands of fans on ESPN is a blessing.”

Sergio Rodriguez

“I feel great. I feel honored to get another opportunity here with Top Rank. It’s a highly anticipated fight between two of Phoenix’s best middleweights. So, it’s a good way to start the Navarrete vs. Valdez card.”

Eduardo Ayala

“It’s a great feeling and a great opportunity to be fighting at home. A victory would mean a lot to me. Sergio and I have a lot of friends in common. They’ve been hyping it up for a while, so it would mean a lot.”

“Well, firstly, it gives me happiness to know that they want to emulate what I did in boxing. They want expand the list of great Mexican boxers. And that’s what these kinds of fights do. It expands the list of Mexican boxers.”

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