The soccer field will become a fistic battleground Saturday, August 17, as WBO junior featherweight champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete will make the second defense of his title against the undefeated Francisco “Panchito” De Vaca.
Navarrete-De Vaca will headline the inaugural fight card at the year-old stadium and will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The undercard, including the returns of unbeaten super lightweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr., welterweight contender Chris van Heerden, undefeated middleweight sensation Janibek Alimkhanuly and featherweight Adam Lopez, will stream live on ESPN+ — the leading multi-sport streaming service — starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions and Iron Boy Promotions, tickets priced at $100, $80, $70, $60, $45 and $25 (not including applicable fees) go on sale Tuesday, July 16 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 and in person at the Banc of California Stadium box office.
Navarrete (27-1, 23 KOs) has won 22 consecutive bouts dating back to 2012, but his breakthrough came last December when he upset Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe via unanimous decision to win the WBO junior featherweight title. Five months later, in Tucson, Arizona, he repeated the deed, this time knocking out Dogboe in the 12th round. A native of San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico, Navarrete had a reported 108-7 record in the amateur ranks and comes from a family of fighters. His uncle, Pedro Navarrete Sr., and two of his cousins, Pedro Navarrete Jr. and Johnny Navarrete, fought as professionals.
De Vaca (20-0, 6 KOs) was born in Michoacán de Ocampo, Mexico, and moved to Phoenix, Arizona, as a small child. All but one of De Vaca’s pro fights have taken place in the Phoenix area, where he has developed into one of the region’s most popular attractions. The 24-year-old boxer-puncher made his Top Rank debut last August in Glendale, Arizona, outlasting Jesus Serrano by unanimous decision in a crowd-pleasing brawl. He last fought in February at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, where he shut out Ernesto Guerrero over eight rounds.
“This is a great opportunity to defend my title against an exciting fighter like De Vaca,” Navarrete said. “I’ve worked hard to prove myself as a true champion, and I won’t let anyone take that away from me. It’s going to be a great night outside in Los Angeles, and whenever you have two Mexicans in the ring, you can expect a battle.”
“This is the fight of my life,” De Vaca said. “I am going to show my Mexican heart and prove to the world that I belong on the world stage. I’m not going to talk any trash. I have a lot of respect for Emanuel Navarrete, but his reign will end on August 17.”
For more information, visit: www.toprank.com, www.espn.com/boxing; Facebook: facebook.com/trboxing; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing.
Use the hashtags #BenavidezCollazo and #NavarreteDeVaca to join the conversation on social media.