We are only days away from the biggest heavyweight championship fight in 18 years as WBC champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (42-0-1) goes up against the lineal heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury (29-0-1) on ESPN/FOX PPV live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Seeing how the first one played out with the controversial split draw, many fans and causals are looking forward to this rematch to see if this time, there will be a definitive winner.
As exciting as all of that is, I want to shed some light on a young champion and two prospects who are quickly rising within their own promotional companies and are ones to watch in the future.
Let’s first start with the young champion from Mexico whose name is Emanuel Navarette (30-1; below; photos by Mikey Williams for Top Rank); he owns the WBO super bantamweight title.
The Mexican gained a shocking upset victory back in December of 2018 over then champion Isaac Dogboe.
Navarette came right back in May of 2019 and beat him once again in the rematch which showed that the first fight was no fluke victory. After the rematch victory, Navarette went on to defend his title three times totaling his fight count to four in 2019. His last fight was in December and has pressed Top Rank to keep him busy so they rewarded his hard work from 2019 by putting him on the most high profile card of the year.
Navarette will be putting his WBO title on the line against Filipino Jeo Santisima (19-2) who is making his U.S debut. This fight will be part of the PPV card that night and if this fight goes the way some of Navarette’s bouts went last year, we are in store for some fireworks.
Heading over to the PBC side of things, Mayweather Promotions own Rolando “Rollies” Romero (10-0), will be fighting on what is considered the “early undercards” which start at 2pm PST & 5pm EST on both the Fox APP and ESPN Plus.
Romero is a tough, strong fighter who has that nasty snarl that Mick from the Rocky movies used to refer to when talking about a hungry fighter. Although his fights haven’t been televised, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been putting in the work because he has and it has led to some savage knockouts. It’s for this reason, the great Floyd Mayweather keeps his eye on him and pays attention to his fights like he recently did when Romero opened up the ShoBox card in November.
On Saturday afternoon, Romero is fighting Arturs Ahmetovs (5-0), which seems to look somewhat competitive on paper but knowing Romero, he is going to try to get another highlight reel knockout and give the fans in attendance something to talk about. If you are watching this fight, make sure you don’t take any bathroom breaks as this one may not last too long.
Last but certainly not least, Gabriel “G-Squad” Flores Jr. (16-0) will also be fighting on the early undercards, draped with L.A Laker colors and ring attire dedicated to Kobe Bryant and his family. The “Stockton King” who has been making all types of noise here in California, will be fighting Matt Conway (17-1) and is looking to put on the type of performance that will force fans to remember his name.
Flores Jr. had a busy 2019 which saw him fight five times and this further solidified the company’s belief in his talents and ability to sell tickets in his home town of Stockton, CA. Flores Jr. looks to maintain that momentum this year as he continues to be a fighter to watch in the lightweight division.
Saturday night, the hope is that the event is a success and that more of these business collaborations between promotional companies lead to the fights that the fans and media want to see in the immediate future. For everything boxing and #WilderFury2, visit nyfights.com.