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  Emanuel Navarrete vs. Joet Gonzalez & Giovani Santillan vs. Angel Ruiz Press Conference

One of Mexico's most decorated champions, WBO featherweight king Emanuel "Vaquero" Navarrete, knows the challenge at hand is a formidable one. The former junior featherweight champion will make the second defense of his featherweight title against Joet Gonzalez this Friday at Pechanga Arena San Diego. Gonzalez is making his second attempt at a world title, while Navarrete hopes to improve to 10-0 in world title fights.

In the 10-round welterweight co-feature, San Diego native Giovani Santillan (27-0, 15 KOs) will take on the hard-charging Angel Ruiz (17-1, 12 KOs). Ruiz is coming off April's decision win over the previously undefeated Bobirzhan Mominov.

At Wednesday's final press conference, this is what the combatants had to say.

Emanuel Navarrete

ďI feel very strong. Iíve seen changes in my body for the best, and I think this division is the best for me.Ē

ďI think this is going to be a tough fight. He is a tough opponent. We are basically fighting in his hometown, closer to where he lives. Without a doubt, heís a great fighter. He always comes forward. I expect a tough fight.Ē

ďMoving up is not something that Iím considering now. Iím just focused on the fight with Joet. What Iíve heard is comments, but Iím not really thinking about moving up.Ē

Joet Gonzalez

On his first title shot against Shakur Stevenson

ďSometimes itís just not your night. I work hard and train hard for every fight. I donít take nobody lightly. It just simply wasnít my night. I rebounded with a win over Marriaga, and I think I showed the public Iím here to fight the best out there.Ē

ďItís not an easy fight. Itís a tough fight. Navarrete has a style thatís very unique, very hard to figure out, and thatís why heís a champion. I trained really hard, and Iím coming with everything. Iím planning on leaving Friday night with that belt.Ē

ďIt means everything. Itís my childhood dream. I always wanted to be a world champion. Thatís why I started boxing in the beginning. Thatís the plan, to bring that belt back home.Ē

Giovani Santillan

ďThis means a lot. Itís what we worked so hard for all my life. My dad and I always talked about having these big shows in San Diego and representing our city.Ē

"We're focused. I'm lucky to have a huge support system. I got my friends and my family. They haven't really been asking for free tickets. If anything, they're letting me know, 'Hey, I bought tickets. I bought this amount of tickets and am coming out to support you.'"

"I'm not sure how long ago it was that we sparred, maybe three, four years ago. We just went about five rounds. Good, hard sparring session, but I'm not judging him off of that sparring session or past fights. We're working hard to prepare for the best version of him, and I'm bringing the best version of myself."

ďItís very special for me to be fighting here in San Diego. I grew up close by here. To all my family and friends that are coming, expect the best version of me. Iím coming with everything.Ē

Angel Ruiz

ďI learned a lot {with trainer Manny Robles} because heís a great coach. Heís trained Oscar Valdez and Andy Ruiz Jr., and I learned a lot {under his tutelage}.Ē

ď{Giovani and I} had great sparring. Heís a great fighter. Iím a great fighter, too. It was great work.Ē

ďI lived all my life in Tijuana. I know San Diego. I lived a year here in Chula Vista. Iíll have a lot of the public here to support. This is my opportunity.Ē


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