By: Hans Themistode
It was about as one-sided an ass-kicking as you’ll see. But for featherweight contender Christopher Diaz, it may have prepared him for the opportunity now staring at him directly in the face.
After a protracted boxing lesson at the hands of Shakur Stevenson a year and a half ago, Diaz took his lumps on the night and has visibly improved. Now, with two wide decision victories under his belt, Diaz is being rewarded with his first crack at a world title against WBO belt holder Emanuel Navarette.
The Pair’s upcoming showdown is slated to headline an upcoming Top Rank card on April 24th.
Despite showing huge improvements since his loss to Stevenson, Diaz is figured to be a substantial underdog.
For Mexico’s Navarette, it’ll be his first attempt at defending his newly won WBO title. Before the rangy titlist grabbed the second title of his career, he was busy annihilating opponents four pounds lighter at super bantamweight. Yet, after defending his title for the fifth straight time, Navarette elected to move up, where he brought home another championship to add to his collection.
Unlike Navarette’s previous title bouts, Diaz, at least on paper, will present the multi-division champion with one of his more stiffer challenges.
By: Hans Themistode
It was always a mystery how Emanuel Navarrete shrunk down his lanky 5 ft 7 inch frame down to 122 pounds. There were times that he struggled with the weight, but somehow, someway, he managed to reel off 26 straight victories and grab the WBO Super Bantamweight title.
Come tonight however, in Mexico City, Navarete has decided to try his hand four pounds north. Meeting him at the door of his new weight class will be journeyman Uriel Lopez (13-13-1, 6 KOs). On paper, everything points in the favor of the former world champion. As previously mentioned, he is riding high from 26 straight wins. While his opponent on the other hand, has seemingly forgotten what it feels like to have his hand raised in victory following three straight losses.
Even with Uriel’s record littered with defeats, he has the opportunity of a lifetime to pull off the biggest upset of the year.
The impact of COVID-19 has run roughshod over the United States. But Mexico City is feeling the effects as well as there will be no fans in attendance.
For Uriel, the measurable’s, talent and expectations are all be against him. But the comfort of fighting at home in Mexico City, will provide him with a glimmer of hope.
Readying the stage for the main event will be a slew of unheralded Featherweight contenders. Carlos Ornelas, Edwin Palomares, Gustavo Pino and Sergio Sanchez will all have their moment in the sun tonight. Since pushing their Summer series, Top Rank has given a platform to lesser known fighters. And that appears to be the case here as well.
Those who are looking to catch up on the action will have to tune in later than previously scheduled shows. The top of the bill begins at 11 PM/ET on ESPN.