Emanuel Navarrete vs. Oscar Valdez face off this weekend for junior-lightweight supremacy as our featured boxing attraction of the weekend, and the two battlers collide on August 12 from the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
Valdez is trying to put the specter of his first career loss behind him and return to his championship form, whereas Navarrete looks to deny the ex-champ in his first title defense.
Boxing odds favor Valdez to fend off Navarrete at -165, but Navarrete is as live as it gets at +135. Here are my free betting picks and predictions ahead of Navarrete vs. Valdez this Saturday in Glendale.
Navarrete vs Valdez odds
|Method of victory||Emanuel Navarrete||Oscar Valdez|
|Win by KO/TKO/DQ||+350||+320|
|Win by points or decision||+140||+340|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of August 12, 2023.
Navarrete vs Valdez betting predictions
Picks made on August 12. Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
Not intended for use in MA.
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Navarrete vs Valdez betting preview
Emanuel Navarrete works behind a relentless attack and significant punching power, showing no signs of slowing down in his third weight class. While Navarrete was in a rough patch against Liam Wilson in his last bout, he wore Wilson out and stopped him in the ninth. Navarrete is on the verge of being recognized as the best fighter in the division, and he’ll have to do it against the best opponent he’s fought in Valdez.
With 31 knockouts in 37 wins, Navarrete shouldn’t have any trouble making his intentions known to Valdez. He’s a volume puncher with power, and great finishing skills when he has his opponents hurt. In addition to that, he has tremendous heart and can be exhausting to handle on the inside.
Valdez saw his status as the division’s darling end when Shakur Stevenson blanked him out in April 2022. His lone fight since then was a decision win over Adam Lopez last May. A decorated amateur and former two-division champion, Valdez has wins over Evgeny Gradovich, Scott Quigg, and Miguel Bercheldt.
Though losing to Stevenson is no big deal, some wonder if Valdez is at the end of the rope at 32.
He’s been in some tough fights, but remains the physically bigger fighter and has an advantage when comparing resumes. It wasn’t that long ago that Valdez was at the top of the division, and now, he’s fighting for what could be his last chance at a world title.
Navarrete vs Valdez boxing prediction and best bet
Prediction: Navarrete ML
It’s impressive how Navarrete has carried his power up in weight, but 130 pounds seems to be his ceiling. He had to land a lot of leather to get Wilson out of the ring while taking punishment on his end all the same. Valdez is infinitely better than Walsh and might be coming into this fight with a chip on his shoulder.
Normally, a smaller fighter like Navarrete won’t want to engage a big man like Valdez, but Navarrete will come right at him. Unless Valdez can fall back on his boxing ability — and not get caught trying to catch a vicious swarmer like Navarrete — this could be a tough fight for him.
Even if Valdez can’t keep him outside, this could end up being a war of attrition. Though Navarrete can land with authority, so can Valdez. The one thing that tilts this fight to Navarrete’s favor is Valdez’s inactivity and the fact that I can’t see him doing anything else but brawl here.
I’m going with Navarrete to spring the minor upset in a war.
Prediction: Navarette moneyline (+135 at DraftKings)
Best Bet: Navarette by decision
The fresher, younger, and more volatile Navarrete should have enough to outlast Valdez. Valdez can sometimes struggle out the gates before he can be effective, and those early rounds are going to cost him. Stevenson, who is not a big puncher, managed to drop him once he timed his offense.
Navarrete should win most of the early rounds, then he’ll need to fight Valdez off him on the back half. The fight should get closer as the rounds go by, but it’ll go the distance, and Navarrete’s volume along with banking those early rounds will win the day. The call here is that Navarrete retains his WBO title with a decision win.
Prediction: Navarette by decision (+340 at DraftKings)