Emanuel Navarrete and Joet Gonzalez have a new date and an official site for their featherweight title fight.
BoxingScene.com has learned that Navarrete will defend his WBO 126-pound championship against Gonzalez on October 15 in San Diego. ESPN+ will stream Navarrete-Gonzalez as a main event on a Friday night from Pechanga Arena, the venue formerly known as San Diego Sports Arena.
Navarrete (34-1, 29 KOs) and Gonzalez (24-1, 14 KOs) were supposed to square off the following night, October 16. Pechanga Arena was not available to promoter Top Rank for that Saturday night, however, and the company had the flexibility to switch dates because the card will not air on ESPN’s linear network.
Top Rank executives surveyed several sites before they picked Pechanga Arena, which can accommodate more than 16,000 fans for boxing. The building will be scaled for less than half of that capacity for the Navarrete-Gonzalez card.
The 26-year-old Navarrete, of San Juan Zitlaltepec Mexico, will make a mandated defense of his WBO belt against Gonzalez. The 27-year-old Gonzalez, of Glendora, California, is the WBO’s number one-rated contender for Navarrete’s title.
Navarrete, a former WBO junior featherweight champion, will make the second defense of the WBO featherweight title he won by out-pointing previously unbeaten southpaw Ruben Villa (18-1, 5 KOs) last October 9 at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
e extended his winning streak to 29 when he stopped Puerto Rico’s Christopher Diaz (26-3, 16 KOs) in the 12th round of their April 24 bout at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida.
Gonzalez has lost only to former WBO featherweight champ Shakur Stevenson. The unbeaten Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs), a 2016 Olympic silver medalist from Newark, New Jersey, thoroughly out-boxed Gonzalez and beat him by wide distances on all three scorecards in their 12-round fight for the then-vacant WBO 126-pound crown in October 2019 at Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada.
Gonzalez bounced back from that lopsided loss when he conquered Colombia’s Miguel Marriaga by unanimous decision in a 10-rounder nearly a year ago. He has not fought since his victory over Marriaga (30-4, 26 KOs) last September 12 at MGM Grand Conference Center.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.