Miguel Berchelt vs. Jonathan Victor Barros on June 23
By Dan Ambrose: WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt (33-1, 29 KOs) will be facing featherweight contender Jonathan Victor Barros (41-5-1, 22 KOs) next month on June 23 at the Poliforum Zamna in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Berchelt vs. Barros is expected to be televised on ESPN+. La Casa del Boxeo will televise the Berchelt vs. Barros fight in Mexico.
Berchelt is a good fighter, but the fans want to see him start fighting good opposition for a change. Berchelt looked great in his first defense of his WBC title against Takashi Miura in 2017, but he’s been taking it easy since then in milking his title. He needs to fight Miguel ‘Mickey’ Roman, Fernando Vargas, Jezreel Corrales and Jhonny Gonzalez. At this point even someone like Edner Cherry would be a tremendous step up in class for Berchelt. Last challenger was terrible in Maxwell Awuku, and Barros is a step down from that guy.
The 34-year-old former WBA featherweight champion Barros is ranked No.10 with the World Boxing Council at featherweight. It’s unclear why Berchelt and his promoters at Zanfer have selected an aging fringe contender from the featherweight to defend in Barros, as there are a lot of deserving fighters in the WBC’s top 15 at 130 that have been waiting for their title shots for some time.
This will be the 26-year-old Berchelt’s third defense of his WBC 130lb title he won last year in beating Francisco ‘Bandido’ Vargas by a 11th round knockout on January 28, 2017 on HBO. Berchelt has since defended his WBC title successfully twice in beating former WBC champion Takashi Miura by a 12 round unanimous decision last July and Maxwell Awuku by a 3rd round knockout on February 10th of this year. Awuku was a voluntary defense for Berchelt. Awuju was overmatched completely by Berchelt.
Barros hasn’t fought in 10 months since losing to former IBF World featherweight champion Lee Selby on July 15, 2017. Barros was completely dominated by Selby in losing by the scores 119-108, 117-110 and 117-110. Selby isn’t a big puncher, but he was able to drop Barros in the 12th round from a left to the head. The combination of Barros being inactive, not ranked at super featherweight and the fact that he lost his last fight to Selby makes him a bad choice for Berchelt to be defending against.
It’s unclear why Barros was selected for Berchelt, but if the WBC is going to sanction, then they’re good with it.
The Argentinian Barros held the WBA featherweight title from December 4, 2010 to October 14, 2011. Barros won the vacant WBA 126lb title in defeating Irving Berry by a 7th round knockout. Barros then successfully defended his WBA title twice in beating Miguel ‘Mickey’ Roman and Celestino Caballero before losing the belt to Caballero by a 12 round unanimous decision in a rematch on October 14, 2011. Barros then lost to Juan Carlos Salgado and Mikey Garcia. After that defeat, Barros won seven consecutive fights until losing to Selby last July.
Berchelt shouldn’t have any problems beating the 34-year-old Barros. This guy has seen better days. The prime of Barros’ career was back in 2011, and it’s been downhill since then.