Liam Wilson set to fight for world title, WBO super featherweight title, Oscar Valdez, Emanuel Navarrete, Archie Sharp, latest, updates

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Australian boxing star Liam Wilson’s “fairytale story” is set for a magical new chapter as the Queenslander will fight Mexican star Emanuel Navarrete for the vacant WBO super featherweight world title in February.

Wilson was originally pencilled in to fight British ace and No. 1 WBO contender Archie Sharp on the undercard of Tim Tszyu vs Jermell Charlo in Las Vegas on January 29 in what would be a title eliminator fight.

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Instead, Wilson has been granted the opportunity of a lifetime after Oscar Valdez, who was originally meant to fight Navarrete for the vacant world title, had to withdraw due to an injury sustained during training, per Boxing Scene.

Wilson’s manager, Steve Scanlan, was second to hear the news after No Limit Boxing founder Matt Rose.

Upon finding out after missing Rose’s first four attempts to contact him, Scanlan was left with “goosebumps”.

“I missed four calls from Matt, he was overseas,” Scanlan told

“It was five-thirty in the morning. He said, ‘You need to call me ASAP.’ I said, ‘Oh f***, what’s going on here.’

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“I gave him a call and he’s like, ‘Navarrete, you want it?’

“To be honest, I started getting goosebumps, freaking out a little bit knowing how much of a huge opportunity it is for Liam.”

And how did Wilson take the news he was fighting for boxing’s ultimate prize?

“I was the first person to tell Liam and his exact words were, ‘Bulls**t,’” Scanlan said.

“Then he was like, ‘Are you serious?’ And I’m like, ‘Yes mate, I promise you.’ He’s like, ‘No, you’re lying.’

“I said, ‘I’m not lying, mate!’

“He was gobsmacked and he was just over the moon. He actually used the words, ‘This is what I’ve been boxing for, this is everything we’ve been working towards.’

“He’s going to put in a f***ing excellent performance, I have no doubt.”

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Wilson’s bout against Navarrete, who is the current WBO featherweight champion but is going up in weight, will take place on February 3 at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

It may not be a city dripping with the boxing history and glamour of Sin City, but for Wilson, it’s simply a chance to “show the world” exactly what the Queenslander is made of.

“I had a good friend tell me, ‘Hard work creates more frequent luck,’” Wilson told

“I think this is a big case of it. I always take risks and challenges, I worked very hard for this opportunity.

“I’m just excited to show the world what I’m made of.

“I understand I’m up against a world champion from Mexico, a Mexican warrior. But I think he’s about to face an Australian warrior.”

Against Navarrete, Wilson is coming up against an opponent who is riding a 31-fight win streak dating back to 2012.

Yet Scanlan believes the Mexican isn’t quite as invincible as his record makes him out to be.

“It’s a fairytale story and now he’s (Wilson) fighting a guy who’s’ very, very beatable,” Scanlan said.

“There’s a lot of question marks in him coming up to this weight.

“The biggest thing is the opportunity, it’s a win-win for Liam.”

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