EMANUEL NAVARRETE vs Oscar Valdez is by far the best fight of this weekend and potentially one of the fights of 2023.

Two all-action Mexican super-featherweights take centre stage at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday night. There is little to separate the two of them, but Oscar Valdez believes he knows what the difference will be when all is said and done.

In an interview with Boxing News Valdez pointed out that when the going gets tough his experience of overcoming adversity in fights against the likes of Scott Quigg will see him through against ‘Vaquero’.

“I feel that I’ve been in tougher positions. I’ve been in wars,” he said.

“I fought with a broken hand. I fought with an injured rib before, and I fought when my jaw [was] broken. I’ve got sent to the canvas and got up, but I always fight to the end, and I think that type of mentality is going to help me for this fight. I don’t think Vaquero has been in those type of positions that I’ve had where you start questioning yourself because we’re only human beings. We’re fighters but inside the ring those questions start getting to your mind. Do you really want it. Is it really necessary. Is it really worth it because you’re literally risking your life inside the ring, and I’ve been in those positions.

“I’ve asked me those questions and the answer is yes, it’s worth it, let’s go, let’s do this or one more round. I know I passed those type of tests. We don’t know if Vaquero has that. So, I think I have that type of advantage that I’ve been through something that he probably hasn’t.”

The 32-year-old from Nogales, Songora is now in the super-featherweight division having campaigned at featherweight on the world scene for several years. Beating Navarrete will earn him the WBC strap and would see him join other titlists Joe Cordina, Hector Garcia and O’Shaquie Foster as the ones to beat. Though Valdez thinks the winner of himself and Navarette can rightly be described as the number one at 130lbs.

“Just because I keep on hearing this fight will set clear who’s 130 champion of them all,” he explained.

“You got other fighters out there who are well respected. I don’t want to disrespect those guys because they earned their championship fights. That’s what belts are made for. Let’s try to unify all the belts.”

At some point during his tussle with Navarrete their styles will clash and ignite something explosive in the ring. Valdez already believes his toughness will help him prevail. It may come down to who makes the least mistakes, but the former featherweight champ picked out his pedigree as another decisive factor.

“My ring IQ will definitely be a part of this. I have a great amateur background.”

“I just worked too hard for this,” he added.

“Like I said I visualize it going toe to toe, outboxing him, moving around the ring, maybe going toe-to-toe but I just visualize myself always winning. I’ve been working too hard for this. There’s not an official game plan because it all depends on what he’s got. We got plan a, plan b if you will but it’s not something that we’re going to try to execute from the first round. It all depends on what he brings to the table.”