Navarrete Aims To Become Unified Lightweight Champion: ‘I need that in my career’

May 15, 2024
5 days
Emanuel Navarrete is aiming to become a four-weight WBO world champion

Emanuel Navarrete has revealed his major career aim is to become a unified world champion as the Mexican fights for the WBO’s title on his lightweight debut on Saturday.

Navarette (38-1-1 31 KO) is a world champion in three divisions and can make it four in San Diego this weekend when he takes on Denys Berinchyk (18-0-0 9 KO).

After winning world titles at flyweight, super-bantamweight, and featherweight, Navarette has most recently been at the top of the super-featherweight division. His fight with Berinchyk will be his 14th world title fight – all of them for a WBO belt.

Should ‘Vaquero’ beat his Ukrainian opponent on Saturday, he will be the fourth world champion at 135lbs. Fellow Top Rank fighters Shakur Stevenson and Vasiliy Lomachenko hold the WBC and IBF straps respectively, while Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis is the WBA champion.

Navarette Has ‘Desire For High-Level Fights’

With all the belts evenly spread, it raises hopes of unification fights in the near future, and Navarrete is already aiming to become a unified champion for the first time in his career.

“We’ve worked hard to get here,” Navarrete told BoxingScene. “We’ll be looking for those fights, without a doubt. There is a desire for those high-level fights.

“I feel like I need that in my career and that last vote of confidence and acceptance. Those fights will give me that. My work speaks for itself. I feel good, calm, strong, and confident.”

Since an early career defeat back in 2012, Navarette has been practically unstoppable over the past 12 years. The only slight blemish on his record came in his last fight when he was held to a shock majority draw by Robson Conceicao in November last year.

Navarrete floored Conceicao twice but – in a rare occurrence for the volume-punching Mexican – he was out-punched by his Brazilian opponent. As it turned out, Vaquero aggravated an old hand injury and underwent surgery to fix the problem.

Berinchyk ‘Is Dangerous’

“We know that I have some deficiencies in my last fight. My hand did hurt, and that’s a fact, but that’s OK,” said Navarrete. “Some things held me back, but it’s OK. I am 100 percent now. And I am going to be like before, only a new Vaquero, and a new hand. With a more ferocious mentality, I am going to put myself in the best position at 135 pounds.”

Navarette is the favorite to win but he will come against an unbeaten Berinchyk who has his own world title ambitions and is coming off an impressive win over former European champion Anthony Yigit.

“He’s dangerous,” said Navarrete. “He’s going to come with a lot of hunger and we are going to have to try and take care of that.”

The undercard in San Diego is led by the co-main event fight featuring the WBO’s No 1-ranked welterweight contender Giovani Santillan against Brian Norman Jr.

That will follow a lightweight fight between unbeaten prospect Charlie Sheehy and Manuel Jaimes, a heavyweight bout featuring two unbeaten boxers Richard Torrez Jr. and Brandon Moore, lightweight prospect Alan Garcia against Wilfredo Flores, and the night’s opening fight – a featherweight contest between Jonathan Lopez and Edgar Ortega.