WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) is ready to turn his title defense against fellow Mexican warrior Oscar Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) into a war on Saturday night when the two fight it out on ESPN at the Bubble at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fight fans outside the US can watch the fight LIVE on FITE TV (click here).
Whether former WBO 126lb champion Valdez wants the fight to be a war or not, Berchelt plans on making him fight that way because he wants a big knockout win so that he can double or even triple his income for his future fights.
Berchelt, 29, is already the favorite going in on Saturday, but he says he’s not paying attention to that. He says he views himself as the underdog, and he’s going to make sure he fights hard so that he doesn’t give Valdez an advantage.
Valdez will have his work cut out for him because he’s facing his first elite-level 130-lb fighter since moving up to the division. Unfortunately for Valdez, he’s fighting a guy that is considered by many boxing fans as the # fighter at 130.
In Oscar’s two previous fights at super featherweight, he’s beaten Adam ‘Blunose’ Lopez and Jayson Velez, who is nowhere near as talented as Berchelt. Lopez shockingly put Valdez on the canvas in the second round of their fight in 2019, but he was able to get up and eventually stop him in the seventh round.
Berchelt going to force Valdez to brawl
“It’s going to be a war this Saturday,” said Berchelt. “It’s going to be a good fight between two Mexican warriors, and the winner could be the next superstar from Mexico.
“I know all the eyes in Mexico are going to be on this fight, and from my side, I’m just looking to bring the poison, and everybody knows about my punching power.
“This opportunity is great for me. Everyone knows what happens when two Mexican warriors battle each other. Boxing is very unpredictable.
“I am hoping to have a war, but the fight could end very early, or it could go the distance. But what I am hoping for is a win from this side.
“I would love this fight to end by knockout,” said Berchelt. “Usually, I’m a bigger 130 as a champion than my opponents.
“It cost me a little bit more to make the weight, and what I gain after I make weight, I don’t think he’s going to have an advantage in the fight. Boxing is a lot like chess.
“Whoever wins one piece and takes advantage is going to win the fight,” said Berchelt.
You can’t rule out a knockout win for Valdez, who is an excellent puncher, and he’s going to have the ability to use his speed to land on Berchelt.
It’s been a while since Berchelt faced a puncher as good as Valdez, but he’s never fought anyone that possesses the same combination of power and boxing ability that he possesses.
Berchelt has a lot of options available to him if he wins the fight and looks great in doing so. Berchelt could easily move up to 135 and compete with the Four Kings to get bigger paydays with his size.
If Berchelt remains at 130, his paydays will likely be smaller than what he could get if he took a career risk in going up in weight, but he stands a better chance of winning for a longer period if he stays at 130.
Moving up to 135 would put Berchelt in the crosshairs of Vasily Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, and Devin Haney. Those are guys that could potentially trouble Berchelt.
It sounds like Berchelt isn’t planning on going up in weight, though, which isn’t surprising because he’s got a good thing going for him at 130 right now.
Berchelt sees himself as the underdog
“I want to thank Julio Cesar Chavez as the favorite, but I don’t pay attention to all that,” said Berchelt. “To be honest, I feel like I’m not the favorite.
“I remember being the underdog, and I know Valdez is going o use that.
“When I first faced Fernando Vargas, I wasn’t the favorite, and I used that as motivation to shut up all the people that said I wasn’t going to win.
“So I’m sure Valdez is thinking the same way. At the same time, that’s why I don’t want to consider myself the favorite. Having been at this weight, I don’t know how long I’m going to be at the weight.
“My body is going to tell me how long before I need to move up. It cost me a little bit to make the weight, but every champion has to go through that.
“All the great Mexican champions did it, and Is see it as part of the job. If I win this fight, it’s going to lead to bigger purses and even tripling my purses.
“That’s what I have in my mind, and that’s why I’m willing to make the sacrifices. I’ve evolved a lot since 2017 when I fought Franciso Vargas and even when I fought Takashi Miura.
“I evolve and learn from every fight. So I’m not the same fighter in 2017 as I am now,” Berchelt said.
Berchelt is definitely a different fighter than when he fought Vargas and Miura way back in 2017. Over the years, Berchelt has turned into more of a slugger than how he used to fight, and he’s attacking his opponents a lot more.
It’s unlikely that Berchelt seriously views himself as the underdog in this fight. Those are just words that he’s saying so that he cannot give Valdez ammunition to motivate himself any more than he already is for the fight.
Miguel ready for a big win
“I’m very happy at the moment. I remember when I was 18, and I left my house with a dream to become a world champion,” Berchelt continued.
“On my way there, I got knocked out in one of my fights [in 2014 against Luis Eduardo Florez], and I did, and I became world champion.
“I know everything that it cost me to be where I am right now. We’re going to go for a big win on Saturday night.
“I’ve worked really hard to get ready for this fight, and I’m ready to showcase my skills, my boxing ability, my punching power, and just get a big win on Saturday. I’m ready for it,” said Berchelt.
This is a great showcase opportunity for Berchelt to beat the popular Oscar Valdez and do it impressively. No one has ever beaten Valdez, so it’ll be impressive if Berchelt can get him out of there.