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Emanuel Navarrete & Francisco De Vaca

Presser Notes and Quotes

Navarrete-De Vaca and Jessie Magdaleno-Rafael Rivera

Set to Light Up Banc Of California Stadium Soccer Pitch Saturday LIVE on ESPN and ESPN Deportes!

(photo credit Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

(August 15th) The press conference overlooked the new crown jewel of Los Angeles soccer, the year-old Banc of California Stadium, home to Major League Soccer's LAFC. In two days, the inaugural boxing card will take place at the stadium, headlined by Emanuel Navarrete's WBO junior featherweight title defense against unbeaten challenger Francisco De Vaca (ESPN, 10 p.m. ET).

 

In the co-feature, former junior featherweight world champion Jessie Magdaleno will take on former world title challenger Rafael Rivera in a 10-round featherweight bout expected to produce fireworks.

 

Here's what the fighters had to say.

Emanuel Navarrete

“The reality is that my life has changed a lot in these last eight months. The fact that I have become world champion and that I have won over a wide margin to Isaac Dogboe, who came from beating Jessie Magdaleno, makes me very happy. I feel very satisfied with the results we have achieved for the hard work we have done in recent months."

 

“The truth is that it doesn't matter who is my opponent. I always prepare 100% for each of my fights, and this was no exception. We already did the hard work in the gym, and we are ready for a great fight. If De Vaca comes to fight hard, I am prepared to go even harder. I'm ready to give a great battle to all the fans."

 

“I've said it several times already: If the other champions of the division don't want to accept the challenge of unifying titles, I will be moving up to the featherweight division. If everything goes well on Saturday, maybe I will make another fight in the super bantamweight division, but if I don't get a unification fight, I would go up to 126 pounds."

 

Francisco De Vaca

“I’m grateful for this opportunity. I’m ready! I wanted to fight for a world title since I was 5 years old, and now that we have the opportunity, we are going to make our dream come true this Saturday. Come Saturday, there will be a new world champ for Phoenix and Michoacán. I’m coming for that world title."

 

On his first 12-round fight

“I feel like I’m debuting all over again. We are ready! I’m going to give everyone a great show. I’ve focused on preparing very well mentally because physically I’m always ready. You will see that come Saturday night."

 

Jessie Magdaleno

“{Fans can expect} the same Jessie Magdaleno that always brings a fight to the table, the Magdaleno that comes to fight and puts on a show for the fans. That’s what I’m always aiming for, to please the fans and show everyone what Jessie Magdaleno is capable of.”

 

“I don’t take none of these guys lightly. Every opponent is difficult. He’s fought great fighters. He’s been in there with great fighters and done a hell of a job. I can’t overlook him because he’s here to put on a great show as well. He throws a lot of punches, and he’s quick. That’s what I am, and that’s what is going to make a hell of a fight for this fight card.”

 

“I’m hoping once this fight goes through, everything goes well, God willing we come out with the victory, I’m hoping it puts me at the top of the spots in all the rankings, all the titles, so I can come back and be a two-time world champion.”

 

Rafael Rivera

“I’m very grateful and happy for the opportunity that Top Rank has given me. Fighting on the first card here is a big opportunity on a big stage, and I’m going to take advantage of it.”

 

“Jessie is a good fighter. I’ve seen him fight before. He’s an aggressive fighter, but I’m just here to do my work."

 

“I’ve been fighting against top-level fighters for a long time, so I feel confident and secure that whether it’s against a world champion or a former champion, I’ll put up a good fight."

 

ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

Emanuel Navarrete vs. Francisco De Vaca, 12 rounds, Navarrete's WBO junior featherweight world title

Jessie Magdaleno vs. Rafael Rivera, 10 rounds, featherweight

 

ESPN+, 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT

Arnold Barboza Jr. vs. Ricky Sismundo, 10 rounds, super lightweight

Janibek Alimkhanuly vs. Stuart McLellan, 10 rounds, Alimkhanuly's WBC Continental Americas and WBO Global titles

Chris van Heerden vs. Aslanbek Kozaev, 10 rounds, welterweight

Javier Molina vs. Manuel Mendez, 8 rounds, super lightweight

Dmitry Yun vs. Javier Martinez, 6 rounds, lightweight

Brian Mendoza vs. Rosemberg Gomez, 8 rounds, welterweight

Elvis Rodriguez vs. Jesus Gonzales, 6 rounds, super lightweight

 

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions and Iron Boy Promotions, tickets priced at $100, $80, $70, $60, $45 and $25 (not including applicable fees) go on sale Tuesday, July 16 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 and in person at the Banc of California Stadium box office.

 

In other action on the undercard:

Super lightweight contender and 2008 U.S. Olympian Javier Molina (19-2, 8 KOs) will look to make it three wins in a row against Manuel Mendez (16-5-3, 11 KOs) in an eight-rounder.

 

Unbeaten welterweight Brian Mendoza (17-0, 12 KOs), who turned heads with a sensational one-punch KO on May 4 in Stockton, California, will return to action in an eight-rounder versus Larry Gomez (9-1, 8 KOs). Former Russian amateur standout Dmitry Yun (1-0, 0 KOs) will face Javier Martinez (4-6, 3 KOs) in a six-rounder at lightweight.

 

Super lightweight prospect Elvis Rodriguez (2-0-1, 2 KOs), whose last fight ended in a  technical draw due to an accidental headbutt, will fight Jesus Gonzalez (6-2, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder.

 

About Top Rank

Innovation has been the standard at Top Rank since it was established in 1966 by Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. The boxing industry’s leading promotional company, Top Rank has shaped, developed, and promoted the careers of top international pay-per-view superstars and Hall of Famers, including Muhammad Ali, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Aaron Pryor, Alexis Arguello, Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales, Terence Crawford, and Vasiliy Lomachenko.

 

Top Rank has promoted some of the most memorable fights in the sport’s history, including 26 Ali events, Leonard vs. Hearns, Pryor vs. Arguello, Duran vs. Leonard, Hagler vs. Hearns, Leonard vs. Hagler, Foreman vs. Holyfield, Morales vs. Barrera, De La Hoya vs. Trinidad, and the most lucrative fight in boxing history, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. In addition to the previously mentioned super fights, Top Rank possesses one of the largest sports libraries, which includes nearly 10,000 fights.

 

Known for creating strategic collaborations between athletes, sponsors, and television networks, Top Rank has been an architect of boxing’s global growth by staging high-profile events in landmark settings around the world, including Madison Square Garden, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Staples Center, Wembley Arena, Araneta Coliseum, The Venetian Macao, Yankee Stadium, Radio City Music Hall, The “Fabulous” Forum, and AT&T Stadium. Top Rank has also been the leader within the boxing industry in creating unforgettable in-arena experiences for fans and embracing 21st century technological advancements to distribute world-class fights and shoulder programming across a variety of platforms.

 

About Banc of California Stadium

Located in the heart of Los Angeles in Exposition Park, Banc of California Stadium is the first open-air stadium built in Los Angeles since Dodger Stadium in 1962. Home to the Los Angeles Football Club, the stadium is a $370 million, state-of-the-art, world-class venue specifically designed to present all types of star-studded live entertainment and creates an unparalleled fan experience for music, sports, and more. At a capacity of 23,500 for concerts (22,000 for soccer), the venue's unique "outdoor arena" design provides for an intimate experience with excellent sightlines of the stage from every seat and superior quality sound throughout the house. Banc of California Stadium sits atop the hallowed grounds of the former Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, which hosted some of the most legendary music artists of all time -- befitting its history, the new stadium continues the tradition of hosting the very best in live entertainment.

August 17th: Barboza, Van Heerden and Alimkhanuly

To See Action LIVE at Banc of California Stadium!

(August 7th) Undefeated super lightweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr., South African welterweight contender Chris Van Heerden and unbeaten middleweight prodigy Janibek Alimkhanuly will all see action in scheduled 10-rounders Saturday, Aug. 17 at Banc of California Stadium on the undercard of WBO junior featherweight world champion Emanuel Navarrete’s title defense versus Francisco “Panchito” De Vaca.

 

The trio will be part of a stacked undercard that will air live on ESPN+, the leading multi-sport streaming service, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

 

Barboza (21-0, 8 KOs), fresh off a knockout win over Mike Alvarado in April, will take on Jose Luis Rodriguez (25-13-1, 13 KOs). A native of nearby South El Monte, California, Barboza is ranked No. 4 by the WBO at 140 pounds. Rodriguez is 0-1-1 in 2019, including a competitive decision loss to former world title challenger Antonio Orozco and a draw with then-unbeaten prospect Bakhtiyar Eyubov.

 

“That Alvarado fight boosted my confidence to a whole new level,” Barboza said. “I’ve always been confident, but I needed to know I could do it at that level. The hard work paid off. We’ve trained hard for this fight. I’m at another level now, and we’re ready to showcase that on the 17th.

 

“Everyone looks at the rankings, but it’s the next man up on the contract for me. Of course I want a title shot, but the longer these champions wait, the harder it will be for them because I am building my confidence in the ring.”

 

Alimkhanuly (6-0, 2 KOs), who captured a gold medal at the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Rio Olympics, will face Stuart McLellan (27-3-3, 11 KOs). Trained by Buddy McGirt, Alimkhanuly most recent fought on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Anthony Crolla card April 12 in Los Angeles, dominating Cristian Olivas over 10 rounds.

 

“Every time I fight, I try to show what ‘Qazaq Style’ is all about,” Alimkhanuly said. “With every fight, I gain more valuable experience, and I will be ready to challenge for a world title before long. I have an incredible trainer in my corner and the confidence needed to advance to the next level. This is a very big stage, and I will show everyone that I’m a middleweight to watch.”

 

Van Heerden (27-2-1, 12 KOs) will face Aslanbek Kozaev (33-2-1, 8 KOs), who has won seven in a row dating back to November 2015. On March 23, van Heerden impressed in his Top Rank debut, notching a six-round technical decision over Mahonri Montes in a bout that ended due to a cut suffered by van Heerden.

 

“It's a homecoming for me on Aug. 17," van Heerden said. "The LA fans will adopt this South African boy. I am grateful to Top Rank for the opportunity to compete and stay busy on my road toward a world title."

August 17: Jessie Magdaleno / Rafael Rivera

Set for Navarrete-De Vaca Co-Feature

at Banc of California Stadium LIVE on ESPN!

(July 25th) Former junior featherweight world champion Jessie Magdaleno will take on Rafael Rivera in a 10-round featherweight clash Saturday, Aug. 17 at Banc of California Stadium. The Magdaleno-Rivera fight will be the co-feature underneath Emanuel Navarrete’s WBO junior featherweight world title defense against Francisco “Panchito” De Vaca.

 

Navarrete-De Vaca was elevated to main event status after Jose Benavidez Jr.’s leg injury forced him to pull out of his welterweight bout against Luis Collazo.

 

Navarrete-De Vaca and Magdaleno-Rivera will headline the inaugural fight card at the year-old stadium and will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

 

“This is a great opportunity as I continue my quest to become a two-weight world champion,” Magdaleno said. “Nothing is going to stand in my way, especially Rafael Rivera. He is a tough guy, but I am in a different class.”

 

“I have experience at the highest levels of the sport, so Magdaleno is not going to intimidate me,” Rivera said. “I know what a win would mean for my career. I am going to bring my Mexican fighting spirit to Los Angeles and hand Magdaleno the second loss of his career.”

 

Magdaleno (26-1, 18 KOs) will be making his second ring appearance since losing his world title in April 2018 in a Fight of the Year contender to Isaac Dogboe. The Las Vegas native, who made one successful defense of the belt he won from future Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire in November 2016, moved up to featherweight following the Dogboe defeat. He returned March 23 in Costa Mesa, California, and won a wide unanimous decision over former world champion Rico Ramos.

 

Rivera (27-3-2, 18 KOs), from Tijuana, Mexico, has never been knocked out as a pro and is two fights removed from a spirited effort in a decision loss to WBA super world featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz. In July 2018, he dropped a tightly contested split decision to top featherweight prospect Joet Gonzalez, who was 19-0 at the time.

August 17th: Jose Benavidez Jr. vs Luis Collazo

and Emanuel Navarrete vs Francisco De Vaca

Set for Inaugural Fight Card at Banc of California Stadium

Live on ESPN & ESPN Deportes at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT!

(July 15th) The soccer field will become a fistic battleground Saturday, August 17, as Jose Benavidez Jr. will battle former world champion Luis Collazo in a 10-round welterweight co-feature at Banc of California Stadium, the home of Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles FC.

 

In the other co-feature, WBO junior featherweight champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete will make the second defense of his title against the undefeated Francisco “Panchito” De Vaca.

 

Benavidez-Collazo and Navarrete-De Vaca will headline the inaugural fight card at the year-old stadium and will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The undercard, including the returns of unbeaten super lightweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr., welterweight contender Chris van Heerden, undefeated middleweight sensation Janibek Alimkhanuly and featherweight Adam Lopez, will stream live on ESPN+ — the leading multi-sport streaming service — starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

 

“I am very focused, and I see this as a must-win fight,” Benavidez said. “Collazo has been in the game for a long time and is still a top fighter, but I am going to push him towards retirement. He looks good for his age, but trust me, youth will prevail when we fight.”

 

“I’m coming for everything they said I couldn’t have,” Collazo said. “Talk is cheap. I’m here to show that I’m still one of the top welterweights in the world.”

 

Benavidez (27-1, 18 KOs) is coming off his most notable performance to date, a spirited effort in a 12th-round TKO loss versus pound-for-pound great Terence Crawford in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Crawford-Benavidez was ESPN’s most-watched boxing event of 2018, and now, the Phoenix native has a chance to return to title contention with a victory over Collazo (39-7, 20 KOs). A native of Brooklyn, New York, Collazo held a piece of the welterweight title from 2005-2006 and has remained a top contender in the 13 years since he lost his belt via controversial decision to Ricky Hatton. Collazo has won three in a row since falling short in a title challenge to Keith Thurman, most recently edging Samuel Vargas by split decision on St. Patrick’s Day at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Navarrete (27-1, 23 KOs) has won 22 consecutive bouts dating back to 2012, but his breakthrough came last December when he upset Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe via unanimous decision to win the WBO junior featherweight title. Five months later, in Tucson, Arizona, he repeated the deed, this time knocking out Dogboe in the 12th round. A native of San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico, Navarrete had a reported 108-7 record in the amateur ranks and comes from a family of fighters. His uncle, Pedro Navarrete Sr., and two of his cousins, Pedro Navarrete Jr. and Johnny Navarrete, fought as professionals.

 

De Vaca (20-0, 6 KOs) was born in Michoacán de Ocampo, Mexico, and moved to Phoenix, Arizona, as a small child. All but one of De Vaca’s pro fights have taken place in the Phoenix area, where he has developed into one of the region’s most popular attractions. The 24-year-old boxer-puncher made his Top Rank debut last August in Glendale, Arizona, outlasting Jesus Serrano by unanimous decision in a crowd-pleasing brawl. He last fought in February at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, where he shut out Ernesto Guerrero over eight rounds.

 

“This is a great opportunity to defend my title against an exciting fighter like De Vaca,” Navarrete said. “I’ve worked hard to prove myself as a true champion, and I won’t let anyone take that away from me. It’s going to be a great night outside in Los Angeles, and whenever you have two Mexicans in the ring, you can expect a battle.”

 

“This is the fight of my life,” De Vaca said. “I am going to show my Mexican heart and prove to the world that I belong on the world stage. I’m not going to talk any trash. I have a lot of respect for Emanuel Navarrete, but his reign will end on August 17.”

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