Tuesday, August 8th 2023
Mexican Legends Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales to Join Emanuel Navarrete-Oscar Valdez Fight Week Festivities
Navarrete-Valdez WBO junior lightweight world title showdown goes down SATURDAY, August 12 at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona LIVE on ESPN
GLENDALE, Ariz. (Aug. 8, 2023) – The protagonists of one of boxing’s most iconic trilogies will be in attendance this week as Mexico prepares to crown a new king.
Mexican legends Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales will be on hand for the fight week festivities leading up to the WBO junior lightweight world title showdown between reigning champion Emanuel Navarrete and former two-division world champion Oscar Valdez this Saturday, August 12, at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
Navarrete-Valdez, the Raymond Muratalla-Diego Torres lightweight co-feature, and the heavyweight showdown between Richard Torrez Jr. and Willie Jake Jr. will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com.
The Barrera-Morales trilogy began on Feb. 19, 2000, as reigning WBC super bantamweight world champion Morales secured a razor-tight split decision victory against WBO champion Barrera in a historic back-and-forth tussle that was named Ring Magazine Fight of the Year. Part 2 took place on June 22, 2002, with Barrera capturing the WBC featherweight title via unanimous decision in a verdict that had pundits and fans split.
In their November 2004 rubber match, Barrera emerged victorious for a second time, dethroning then-WBC super featherweight champion Morales by majority decision in another Ring Magazine Fight of the Year. Since then, their trilogy has inspired future generations, including Navarrete and Valdez, who will go toe-to-toe as they attempt to etch their names among the most storied all-Mexican showdowns.
“To know that two legends from an important Mexican trilogy will be there during fight week gives us some added pressure,” Navarrete said. “They set the bar really high. What they did is difficult to do, let alone surpass. But Valdez and I have what it takes to leave a similar mark.”
“The fans want to see a fight like the ones between Morales and Barrera,” Valdez said. “Every time there is a fight between Mexicans, it’s a great battle, and this won’t be the exception. I always tell people that I grew up during the era of Morales and Barrera. They inspired me to be the fighter that I am today. So, to leave something similar in history would mean the world to me.”
* Barrera and Morales will chat about the historical significance of Saturday’s fight.
* Barrera and Morales will pose alongside Navarrete and Valdez during the weigh-in and face-off.
Saturday, Aug. 12: Navarrete vs. Valdez Fight Night
10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
Main card airing live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+. Undercard action begins at 7:15 p.m. ET/4:15 p.m. PT on ESPN+.
* Barrera and Morales will be seated ringside. After the fight, they will present the winner with a special gift.