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Boxing & MMA

Liam Wilson earns shot at WBO super-featherweight title in Emanuel Navarrete clash

Queensland’s Liam Wilson will face Emanuel Navarrete for the WBO super-featherweight title in Arizona on February 3 (Feb. 4 in Australia).

The 26-year-old Aussie has been given the opportunity to fight for a maiden world title after former world champion Oscar Valdez was forced to withdraw due to injury.

Promoter Top Rank confirmed the news on Wednesday.

MORE: Aussie fighters left out of pocket and angry a week before Christmas as Dubai event falls apart

Taking place at the Diamond Desert Arena in Glendale, Arizona, the bout comes less than a week after countryman Tim Tszyu takes on Jermell Charlo for the undisputed super-welterweight title in Las Vegas on January 29.

It’s a slight change of plans for Wilson who was booked to fight Englishman and number one contender with the WBO Archie Sharp on the Charlo-Tszyu undercard.

Wilson is 11-1 as a professional, having avenged the only loss of his career when he stopped Joe Noynay in the second round in March this year.

It will be Wilson’s first outing since late June when he defeated Matias Rueda via unanimous decision in Brisbane, suffering a hand injury which required surgery in the process.

Wilson will be facing the toughest challenge of his career when he takes on the 27-year-old Navarrete in his first fight outside Australia.

The hard-hitting Mexican has a record of 36-1 with 30 knockouts and an unbeaten streak of 31 fights to his name.

Navarrete, the former WBO world champion at both featherweight and super-bantamweight, will be stepping out for the first time at 130-pounds (59kg) when he faces Wilson.

The pair will be fighting for the vacant WBO title after Shakur Stevenson was stripped of his titles when he missed weight for his bout with Robson Conceicao earlier this year.

Stevenson has since moved up to lightweight.

Several other named have been announced for the card, with undefeated American Arnold Barboza (27-0) to take on former two-weight world champion Jose Pedraza (29-4-1) in the co-main event, while Nico Ali Walsh, the grandson of Mohammad Ali, is also set to feature.


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