By Dan Ambrose: Oscar Valdez (31-1, 23 KOs) will challenge Emanuel Navarrete (37-1, 31 KOs) for his WBO super featherweight title in their long-awaited clash on August 12 on ESPN at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

Dan Rafael is reporting the news of the former two-division world champion Valdez, 32, taking on Navarrete. It’s likely that Top Rank, the promoter for the two fighters, will place the fight on PPV because it’s arguably a big enough one to charge boxing fans at home to watch it.

The fight is coming just in time for Navarrete & Valdez, as they look like they’re both showing signs of deterioration. Navarrete vs. Oscar Valez is a good fight for the fans, but it’s not one involving the best at 130.

Neither of these guys could beat WBC champion O’Shaquie Foster in this writer’s view. Moreover, IBF champ Joe Cordina and WBA champion Hector Garcia would likely beat Valdez & Navarrete. They’ve aged badly.

Navarrete, 28, came close to being knocked out in his last fight by little-known replacement opponent Liam Wilson last February.

Indeed, Navarrete would have been knocked out if the referee Chris Flores hadn’t stopped the action to allow Emanuel to have his mouthpiece reinserted after he spat it out after being dropped by Wilson in round four. The valuable seconds that ticked off the clock allowed Navarrete to survive the round.

For his part, the 32-year-old Valdez looked like the shell of the fighter he’d once been last Saturday, laboring to an unimpressive 10 round unanimous decision against second-tier fighter Adam Lopez (16-5, 6 KOs) in their rematch on the undercard of the Deevin Haneey vs. Vasyl Lomacheenko card on ESPN PPV in Las Vegas.

The former two-division world champion Valdez was coming off a 13-month layoff and a one-sided loss to Shakur Stevenson. Valdez beat Lopez by the scores 98-92, 98-91, and 97-93.

Adam Lopez had been easily beaten by his previous opponent Abraham Nova last January in getting blanked in a 10 round unanimous decision loss. Nova had been destroyed by two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez in his previous fight, which shows how far Oscar Valdez has slipped as a fighter. He’s not the guy he used to be, as we saw with his struggles to beat Adam Lopez and his one-sided loss to Shakur.

“The much-anticipated fight between WBO junior lightweight titleholder Emanuel Navarrete and Mexican countryman Oscar Valdez is penciled in for Aug. 12 at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona,” said Dan Rafael to Fight Freaks Unite.

“The fight, which has long been intended to take place in August, will headline a Top Rank card on an ESPN platform.”

Navarrete vs. Oscar Valdez is a toss-up at this point. Whoever shows up on the night will win. With that said, the winner needs to stay away from Foster, Robeisy, Cordina, Hector, and Lomachenko because those guys have too much talent for Valdez & Navarrete.

“We all want [Navarrete],” Oscar Valdez said last weekend. “Nothing but respect for him. He’s a great champion.”

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