For the fourth time in seventh months, Mexico’s Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete will defend his WBO junior featherweight world title.
Boxing’s most active world champion will make his fourth title defense of 2019 Saturday against countryman Francisco Horta at Auditorio GNP Seguros in Puebla, Mexico (ESPN+, 9 p.m. ET).
In the co-feature, Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas” will make the eighth defense of his IBF junior bantamweight world title against Miguel Gonzalez.
Fight week kicked off Wednesday with the open workouts. This is what Navarrete — returning home as world champion — had to say.
“After I won the title, I told Zanfer and Top Rank that I wanted to fight as often as possible. That’s what world champions are supposed to do. Look at the great Mexican champions that came before me. Julio Cesar Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya and Erik Morales built their names and their legacies by being active. That’s the tradition I am following. I am the Mexican ‘Iron Man’ of boxing.”
“I always knew I could get to this point. When I fought Isaac Dogboe the first time, very few people gave me a chance. I seized the opportunity.”
“It means a lot to defend my world title back in my home country. I have fought at many of the great venues in America, but this is extra special for me.”
“The fans in Puebla have welcomed me with open arms. This is going to be a classic all-Mexican battle, but ‘Vaquero’ will once again be victorious.”
“In 2020, I would love to unify titles at 122 pounds, and if any of the bantamweight champions would like to move up to 122, I am here. I want to fight the best. That’s the Mexican way.”
“I’m very happy to be defending my world title in my beloved Mexico. I’m excited to get in the ring. Horta is a very strong fighter. I told him to train hard so we can give a great fight to the people of Mexico. This fight will be won by the fighter that is the most prepared.”
“I want to thank Zanfer and Top Rank for allowing me to appear in Mexico as a world champion.”
ESPN+, Saturday, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
Emanuel Navarrete vs. Francisco Horta, 12 rounds, Navarrete’s WBO junior featherweight world title
Jerwin Ancajas vs. Miguel Gonzalez, 12 rounds, Ancajas’ IBF junior bantamweight world title
Miguel Marriaga vs. Alfredo Mejia Vargas, 8 rounds, featherweight