Oscar Valdez posted a video clip of him sparring with super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez on Sunday in preparing for his fight against WBC super featherweight champion Miguel ‘El Alacran’ Berchelt on December 12th on ESPN.
The former WBO featherweight champion Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) looked good for the most part, attacking the defensive-minded Canelo on the ropes with combinations.
Surprisingly, Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) was able to make the two-time Olympian Valdez miss with many of his shots with his upper body movement. We don’t know for sure if Valdez, 29, a trying his hardest to land on Canelo, but he did have quite a bit of success.
Canelo seemed to get tired during the clip, and that’s when Valdez repeatedly hit him with headshots.
It’s important that the 5’5 1/2″ Valdez spar with bigger fighters because he’s going up against the 5’7″ Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs), who will have a two-inch height and a six-inch reach advantage over him. Berchelt is also a bigger puncher, and he’s likely to be heavier than Valdez.
Oscar has got to jump on Berchelt early, and not let him use his size to dominate the action from the outside. But at the same time, Berchelt is capable of throwing a lot of punches with massive power. Valdez has looked shaky in the chin department since his fight with Miguel Marriaga in 2017, and he could crumble under Berchelt’s withering fire.
The former WBO 126-lb champion Valdez hasn’t looked out of this world good in his last two fights since moving up to 130, beating Jayson Velez and Adam Lopez by knockouts. Valdez got hit a lot in those fights and looked beatable.
— Oscar Valdez Fierro (@oscarvaldez56) October 11, 2020
Valdez doesn’t look like the same fighter at super-featherweight as he was when he was fighting at 126, but it makes sense for him to be fighting at 130. There’s more money for Valdez at super-featherweight than at 126.
Additionally, if Valdez moved back down to featherweight, he would have to deal with the gargantuan 5’7′ Emanuel Navarrete, who is the exact same size as Berchelt, but with a longer reach, equal power, but a much higher work rate. Valdez would have just as many problems with Navarrete as he will Berchelt.
Berchelt, 28, has proven to be the super-featherweight division class since defeating former WBC 130-lb champion Francisco Vargas by an 11th round knockout in January 2017. Vargas was unbeaten at the fight with Berchelt, but he was no match for him.
Since then, Berchelt has successfully defended his WBC title six times, beating these fighters:
- Miguel ‘Mickey’ Roman
- Francisco Vargas – rematch
- Takashi Miura
- Jonathan Victor Barros
- Maxwell Awuku
- Jason Sosa
The Mexican star Canelo, 30, is still out of action dealing with his lawsuit with DAZN, Golden Boy Promotions, and Oscar De La Hoya.
Unless that litigation is quickly resolved, it looks like Canelo won’t fight in 2020. That’s potentially bad news for Canelo because his next possible fight date is in May 2021. If Canelo sticks to the date, he’ll have been out of the ring for a year and a half.
It doesn’t matter how talented Canelo is, he could be ring rusty by the time he fights again, and vulnerable if it’s against a quality fighter like Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin.
We’ll see if Canelo can get in at least one fight in 2020 against an easy opponent like Avni Yildirim. The World Boxing Council has approved Canelo as the opponent for Yildirim to fight for the vacant WBC super-middleweight title.
If Canelo takes that fight and wins, he will have former WBC champ, David Benavidez, as his #1 contender. If Canelo vacates, it’ll give fans the impression that he’s ducking him.