Oleksandr Usyk will defend his heavyweight titles against Anthony Joshua on Saturday in a rematch of Usyk’s unanimous decision victory last September.
EMANUEL NAVARRETE (35-1, 29 KOS) VS. EDUARDO BAEZ (21-2-2, 7 KOS)
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) August 16, 2022
Date: Saturday, Aug. 20
Time: 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT (main event later in show)
Where: Pechanga Arena, San Diego
TV/Stream: ESPN, ESPN+
Division: Featherweights (126 pounds)
At stake: Navarrete’s WBO title
Pound-for-pound ranking: None
Odds: Navarrete 10-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)
Also on the card: Giovani Santillan vs. Julio Luna Avila, welterweights; Nico Ali Walsh vs. Reyes Sanchez, middleweights
Prediction: Navarrete KO 10
Background: Navarrete will be making the third defense of the 126-pound title he won by outpointing Ruben Villa in October 2020. The indefatigable volume puncher from Mexico, a former 122-pound champ, followed the victory over Villa with a 12th-round knockout of Christopher Diaz the following April and a wide decision over Joet Gonzalez last October. The defense on Saturday will be the 27-year-old’s fourth consecutive fight in the United States. His only loss came in a four-rounder against journeyman Daniel Argueta in 2012, the year he turned pro. Baez, also a 27-year-old from Mexico, rebounded from a majority decision setback against Ra’eese Aleem by defeating Enrique Vivas by a majority decision in his most recent fight this past March. Baez is a good, durable fighter with limited punching power.