An all-Mexican showdown that is a surefire bet to be a barnburner is inching closer to becoming a reality.

Top Rank boss Bob Arum has indicated that Oscar Valdez and Emanuel Navarrete are slated to face each other in their next fight. 

When Arum was asked by Lance Pugmire of if a showdown was set for Friday, Feb. 3 between the fighters he promotes, the Hall of Fame promoter said the only missing piece to the equation was the location of the event. 

“I think both fighters have agreed to fight each other. The question is what venue [in either Mexico City, Los Angeles, or Phoenix]. But that fight is definitely going to happen,” said Arum. “That really is something. These guys don't mess around. There will be a lot of punches thrown. It reminds me of the old Mario Antonio Barrera-Erik Morales days. Valdez is a warrior and he wants to be tested, and who better to test him than Navarrette.” 

One of the other unknown elements around the fight is exactly what weight it would be contracted to take place. 

Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) is a former WBO 126-pound world champion and has fought at 130 pounds since November 2019. He won the WBC junior lightweight title by viciously knocking out Miguel Berchelt in 2021 before losing his crown to Shakur Steveson in April via unanimous decision.

Navarrete (36-1, 30 KOs) is a former 122-pound champion who eventually picked up the WBO super featherweight title Valdez vacated. Navarrete has never fought at 130 pounds. He’s coming off a sixth-round KO against Eduardo Baez in August. 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or on