Navarrete Ready for Mexican Independence Day Weekend Title Defense – Fury-Wallin Undercard to Stream Saturday Live on ESPN+

Navarrete Ready for Mexican Independence Day Weekend Title Defense - Fury-Wallin Undercard to Stream Saturday Live on ESPN+
Two days before lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury takes the mantle of Mexican Independence Day Weekend headliner against Otto Wallin, the co-feature bouts took center stage at a press conference (Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank) 

Emanuel Navarrete (pictured above) will make the third defense of this WBO junior featherweight title against Juan Miguel Elorde (pictured above), grandson of the late Filipino boxing icon “Flash” Elorde. Navarrete last fought August 17, knocking out Francisco De Vaca in the third round.

Former two-division world champion Jose Pedraza will make his 140-pound debut against former world title challenger Jose Zepeda in a 10-rounder, former super flyweight world champion Carlos Cuadras will battle the upset-minded Jose Maria Cardenas, and 19-year-old lightweight sensation Gabriel Flores Jr. will face Miguel Angel Aispuro in a bout scheduled for eight or six rounds.

This is what the fighters had to say.

Bob Arum 

On Navarrete

“If you’re a fighter, you want to fight as much as possible. This kid here, if he could, {if it wasn’t for} injuries and so forth, would fight eight times a year and be happy.”

Emanuel Navarrete

“I was very surprised {to get the offer to fight on short notice}, but I knew it was a great opportunity so we took it. My mentality was I had to train harder and not take a long break because we knew the opportunity that was in front of us.”

“I want to thank Bob Arum. He gave me the opportunity to fight for the title against {Isaac} Dogboe, then the rematch, then De Vaca. Now I’m here, a big card. I just want to tell {Bob}, if he lets me, I want to fight in December, too. I will give it my all and show everyone I’m doing things the right way.”

“I want to do my best at 122 {pounds}, and the biggest thing in the division is to unify titles. If my body permits it, I’m going to stay here and unify titles. But if not, I am going to move up, and I have a great career in front of me.”

Juan Miguel Elorde

“It’s a big opportunity, a great experience for me. I’d like to thank everyone for giving me this chance.”

On taking the fight on short notice

“We’re ready because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. When they called, we accepted the challenge because every boxer wants to be a world champion.”

“This is my dream, to become a world champion. I think it’s coming to reality. Thank you, Mr. Bob Arum.”

Jose Pedraza

“I moved up in weight because of the opportunities that are at 140 pounds. That’s why I moved up.”

“It would be great for me, great for Puerto Rico, and that’s one of my goals, to be a three-weight world champion.”

“We have to do one fight at a time. We are going up to a division with a lot of world-caliber fighters, but we have to get past Zepeda first to {earn} that world title opportunity.”

Jose Zepeda

“It’s an honor to be fighting on Mexican Independence Day. I always see this date, big fighters, Mexican fighters fighting on this day. It’s my turn to rep, especially against {a Puerto Rican} fighter. I put all the work in the gym. We’re ready to give the fans a good fight, hopefully the best fight of the night.”

“He’s a smart fighter. He likes to box. He has some speed. We’ve been watching some fights of his, but I believe I have the same thing. I’m a smart fighter as well. Both of us will give it our all in the ring.”

“If everything goes good, first I gotta think about Pedraza. There was a lot of talk about Ramirez and I {fighting a rematch}. A lot of people thought I won, a lot of people thought he won. It was for sure a close fight. If I win this fight, hopefully we could do a rematch.”

Carlos Cuadras

“I am very happy to be on a big card in Vegas. I want to become a world champion again, and I have my medicine for Cardenas in my punches.”

“Cardenas is a great fighter, and a win against him will give me a title opportunity. I am coming here to get the win.”

Jose Maria Cardenas

“That was a great fight. I prepared myself very well, and we know big things are coming. We’re coming for that right now.”

“It will be a war. Every time two Mexicans are in the ring, a big show is promised. I am going to take this fight.”

“Cuadras is a very tough, good fighter. He’s experienced, but I am also a very good fighter.”

Gabriel Flores Jr.

“Each fight I keep improving. I always learn from my mistakes. After every fight, we don’t focus on what I did good. We focus on what I did bad, so we can make sure we fix it every time. Each time I step in the ring, I do better. And when the lights hit, I always react.”

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