By Jon Uddin✏️
It’s the fourth defense of the WBO Super-Bantamweight title for Mexico’s 🇲🇽Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete (29-1-0, 25KO👊) as he closes out a busy year out against fellow countryman 🇲🇽Francisco Horta (20-3-1, 10KO👊) Saturday night at Auditorio GNP Seguros in Puebla, Mexico.
Navarrete who promoter Bob Arum deemed “the best fighter in Mexico” has stayed active since his dominating stoppage of Isaac Dogboe this past May in the rematch of their 2018 WBO title fight, where Navarrete took the belt from the tough Ghanaian by unanimous decision. Since then, the 24 year old Mexican has steamrolled his two most recent opponents, knocking out Francisco De Vaca in three rounds in August, and stopping Juan Miguel Elorde in four rounds just a month later in September.
There will be plenty of love for Navarrete as he takes his title to Mexico, his first time making a world title defense in front of his home fanbase. He will be joined in the ring by the 26 year old Horta ranked #13 by the WBO, who is on a ten fight win streak, last fighting in August where he took a eight round majority decision win over Francisco Alarcon. You can argue that Horta is better competition than De Vaca and Elorde were for Navarrete, but even if he is it doesn’t appear to be by much and the Vegas oddsmakers seem to agree as the line heavily favors Navarrete (-2500) over Horta (+919).
PREDICTION: Look for this fight to play out similar to the previous two bouts for Navarrete and end in a fourth or fifth round stoppage for the champion. He will stalk and cut down Horta, who seems to be a one trick pony that attempts to set traps to deliver his right hand. With a jab that doesn’t command respect, his style plays right into the hands of Navarrete who won’t be met with much resistance and will stay right on top of Horta once he is warmed up with a round under his belt.
Navarrete vs Horta will headline a Top Rank card that will take place Saturday night, with the main card airing at 8pm ET on the ESPN+ app. IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas and featherweight title contender Miguel Marriaga will also be in action on the card from Puebla, Mexico.