News

Galahad targets Navarrete unification

IBF featherweight champion Kid Galahad has his sights set on a fight with his WBO counterpart Emanuel Navarrete.

Galahad (28-1, 17 KOs) signed a promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport after he captured the belt against James ‘Jazza’ Dickens, while Navarrete (33-1, 28 KO) is promoted by Top Rank. Such politics often prohibit bouts from taking place, but Galahad is confident that Hearn and Top Rank chief Bob Arum would be willing to do business.

“If the money is there, of course they’d work together,” Galahad told Boxing Social. “I want a unification, Navarrete wants a unification, put the Ring Magazine belt in there, why not? Other people say they want these unification fights, but when it comes down to it, they aren’t going to take the risk. I’ll take the risk, I’ll fight Navarrete, so we can make it happen. I’m willing to take the fight, that’s the fight I want.”

There has been speculation that Galahad could face WBA ‘Regular’ champion Leigh Wood. The pair once trained alongside each other when Wood was part of the Ingle Gym and, as of yesterday, both are promoted by Hearn. It may appear that the fight would be straight forward to put together, however Wood’s status as the sanctioning body’s secondary titlist complicates the matter. The IBF will only sanction unifications with the WBA if the fighter holds their primary title. Hearn has suggested that Wood should be elevated to ‘Super’ champion as the current holder, Leo Santa Cruz, hasn’t fought in the 126lbs weight class in two-and-a-half years. However, Galahad remains sceptical due to the relationship between the WBA and Premier Boxing Champions.

“PBC have that title tied up for forever and a day,” he said. “Even if Leo Santa Cruz doesn’t have it, they’ll have someone next in line. It could be the winner of those kids having a unification at super-bantamweight; [Brandon] Figueroa and [Stephen] Fulton. They might move up.”

As a result, Galahad is of the opinion that Navarrete is the most viable route to a unification. The Mexican represents an unusual choice of opponent to face voluntarily as he is an unconventional fighter who is comfortable boxing either the orthodox or southpaw stance and carries power in both hands. However, in Galahad’s corner of Yorkshire, unorthodox is commonplace.

The 31-year-old is convinced that he is every bit as awkward and crafty as his potential foe and adamant he would produce another dominant display against Navarrete, should the pair meet.

“I think he’s good,” Galahad said of Navarrete. “Not taking nothing away from Navarrete, but I believe everyone Navarrete has beat, I’d beat and everybody I’ve beat, Navarrete would beat. I believe when I get in the ring with Navarrete, it’s like playing Sudoku, that’s what boxing is like, I believe I’d figure him out quicker than he’d ever figure me out. If you try to figure me out, I can chop and change and I can bring something else, but I believe he can’t. 

“I’ve been sparring switch-hitters all my life in the Ingle Gym, it’s nothing new to me. In our gym, there’s loads! Has he ever boxed anybody of my calibre that can switch-hit? In Mexico, there’s nobody that does what we do, but in Sheffield, there’s a lot of fucking kids just like him, who switch, especially in my gym. To be fair, I think I will actually batter him. I think in every department, everything he does, I do better.”

Main image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing & Mikey Williams/Top Rank