THE Banc of California Stadium – the home of Los Angeles FC – will host its first-ever boxing event this Saturday (August 17). The outdoor venue, which opened in April last year, was initially set to stage a welterweight clash between Jose Benavidez Jnr and Luis Collazo this weekend. That was until Benavidez suffered a leg injury during training in July, leading the fight to be shelved, likely until October. Following the postponement of Benavidez-Collazo, the chief support bout between 24-year-old Mexico natives Emanuel Navarrete and Francisco De Vaca was bumped up to headline status, with ESPN televising. The contest will mark Navarrete’s second defence of his WBO super-bantamweight belt. For De Vaca, who is positioned at No. 11 in the WBO ratings, it will be a first scheduled 12-rounder.
“This is a great opportunity to defend my title against an exciting fighter,” Navarrete said. “I’ve worked hard to prove myself as a true champion – I won’t let anyone take that away from me. It’s going to be a great night outside in Los Angeles.”
Although the match-up represents a major jump up in class for De Vaca, the unbeaten challenger is confident he’ll demonstrate that he belongs at the top level.