Emanuel Navarrete is, in some ways, a throwback to fighters of a bygone era. Unlike most fighters at the world title level, Navarette is very active, fighting 11 times since 2018. Despite that activity, Navarette will be in action for the first time since October when he steps into the ring against former title challenger Christopher Diaz on Saturday night from Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida (10 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Navarrete (32-1, 27 KO) won his first world championship in December 2018, defeating Isaac Dogboe to win the WBO super bantamweight championship. He would defend the title successfully against Dogboe the following year in the first of four 2019 title defenses. One more title defense would follow to start 2020 before Navarrete made the move up in weight to featherweight, capturing the then-vacant WBO title in a decision win over Ruben Villa.
When is Emanuel Navarrete vs. Christopher Diaz? Date, start time
Date: Saturday, Apr. 24
Time: 9 p.m. ET/1 a.m. GMT
Live Stream: Watch Live Now
The biggest knock on Navarrete during his run as champion has been that, despite the admirable activity levels, he has fought opposition that is a step below top-tier in almost every title defense. The wins over Dogboe and Villa were solid, but there’s not a lot of depth on Navarrete’s resume beyond those victories. Add to that a win over Villa that Navarrete almost gave away down the stretch, with two knockdowns for Navarrete serving as the difference in the fight.
Diaz (26-2, 16 KO) fought Masayuki Ito for the WBO super featherweight in 2018, losing a unanimous decision in a fight where he showed plenty of heart but was largely outgunned from the jump. The loss somewhat cemented Diaz’s place in the sport as a capable fighter near the top of boxing’s “second tier.” With that perspective, Diaz was then placed in the role of “opponent” to the rising Shakur Stevenson, giving Stevenson a solid 10 rounds of experience while losing a wide decision.
After a pair of wins over lower-tier opposition, Diaz now gets another chance at becoming world champion, though it’s a big ask for him to take the title from Navarrete.
Also featured on this card is the fast rising knockout artist Edgar Berlanga. The Brooklyn native has tied a record in the sport with 16 consecutive first-round knockouts to begin his career. He’ll get a chance to break it on Saturday night when he takes on Demond Nicholson in a featured bout. Berlanga is so expected to walk over Nicholson that oddsmakers have set the over/under on total rounds at 1.5 and the under is -225. Below is the complete fight card with the latest odds from William Hill Sportsbook.
Navarrete vs. Diaz card, odds
|Emanuel Navarrete (c) -1100||Christopher Diaz +700||WBO featherweight title|
|Josue Vargas -2000||Willie Shaw +1000||Super lightweight|
|Edgar Berlanga -2200||Demond Nicholson +1100||Super middleweight|
|Jamaine Ortiz||Joseph Adorno||Lightweight|
|Orlando Gonzalez Ruiz||Juan Antonio Lopez||Featherweight|
|Xander Zayas||Demarcus Layton||Welterweight|
|Jeremy Adorno||Ramiro Martinez||Super bantamweight|
|Mobley Villegas||Jaycob Bradley Gomez Zayas||Super featherweight|