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Three Presumed Heirs to the Crown of Emanuel Navarrete

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  • Three Presumed Heirs to the Crown of Emanuel Navarrete

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    By J.J. Alvarez

    If Emanuel Navarrete, WBO featherweight champion of the world, decides to surrender the crown to move up to the junior lightweight category, three fighters in particular will benefit from the move: Isaac Dogboe, Brandon Figueroa and Robeisy Ramírez.

    Authorized by the WBO, Navarrete (36-1, 30 KOs) and his countryman Oscar Valdez are in negotiations to compete for the 130-pound belt, vacated by Shakur Stevenson (19-0-0, 9 KOs) who lost the belt on the scales in September when he beat Brazilian Robson “El Niño” Conceicao (17-2, 8 KOs).

    Although recent contradictory reports have appeared on social networks and some media outlets, Navarrete (pictured) is not required to immediately vacate the WBO featherweight title.

    At the WBO convention which took place last month in Puerto Rico, the Championships Committee ruled that if Navarrete defeats Valdez, he will have a period of 10 days to decide whether to remain at junior lightweight or return to featherweight in which he holds the WBO belt.

    In his last fight, on August 20, 27-year-old Navarrete anesthetized Eduardo Báez in the sixth round of his third successful defense of the WBO title.

    Navarrete obtained the vacant WBO belt, with a unanimous decision victory over southpaw Rubén Villa on October 9, 2020, in The Bubble at the MGM Grand. Previously, the title was held by Valdez, who vacated it in his move to junior lightweight.

    Since then, Valdez has fought five times at 130 pounds. In February of last year, he beat Miguel Berchelt by unanimous decision, obtaining the WBC belt. Valdez then faced Shakur Stevenson in April, losing his belt to Stevenson by unanimous decision.

    If Navarrete does in fact decide not to return to 126 pounds, Isaac Dogboe, Brandon Figueroa and Robeisy Ramírez will be in the best position to fight for the title as they are ranked first through third, respectively, by the WBO.

    Dogboe (24-2, 15 KOs) has four recent wins following a couple of setbacks, both against Navarrete in 2018 and 2019.

    Figueroa (23-1-1, 18 KOs) succumbed by majority decision to undefeated Stephen Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs), who took over Figueroa’s WBC and WBO super bantamweight belts in November 2021. Eight months later, Figueroa, who is ranked 2nd by the WBC and 3rd by the WBA, achieved a resounding victory at 126 pounds by applying chloroform to Carlos Castro.

    In October, two-time Olympic champion Ramírez (11-1, 7 KOs) knocked out José Matías Romero (26-3, 9 KOs) in the ninth round. Romero was a replacement for Jessie Magdaleno, who suffers from bone exostosis in his left hand, a type of spur on the surface of the bone which causes pain when punching.

    Although there is nothing definite and it's basically just rumors at the moment, some close to Top Rank hinted that Romero will collide with Dogboe next February with the intention of filling the vacancy left by Navarrete.

    However, if Navarrete is victorious over Valdez, he will have the last word. For now, we will just have to wait and see.

    Article submitted by Jorge Juan Alvarez in Spanish.

    Please note any adjustments made were for clarification purposes and any errors in translation were unintentional.
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