Miguel Berchelt vs. Oscar Valdez set for December 12th on ESPN

By Boxing News - 09/25/2020 - Comments

By Jim Maltzman: WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt and Oscar Valdez are set to fight on December 12th on ESPN, possibly in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Top Rank has been working on getting the Berchelt vs. Valdez fight done, and they’ve finally got it across the finish line. The venue for the Berchelt-Valdez fight is still to be determined, but Las Vegas is where it’s being talked about taking place.

Boxing fans have been looking forward to the Berchelt-Valdez fight since 2019 when former WBO 126-lb champion Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) moved up in weight to 130. Valdez and Berchelt are both signed with Top Rank, which is making this fight possible.

Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports News is reporting that the Berchelt vs. Valdez fight was confirmed on Thursday. The 28-year-old Berchelt  (37-1, 33 KOs) will be making his seventh defense of his WBC super featherweight crown that he won in 2017 in stopping Francisco Valdez.

Berchelt vs. Valdez = Fight of the Year potential

The two-time Olympian Valdez and 28-year-old Berchelt is an excellent fight by Top Rank, who is finishing 2020 on a high note with this fight. Top Rank also has Vasily Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez next month on October 17th. That fight is also on ESPN.

Image: Miguel Berchelt vs. Oscar Valdez set for December 12th on ESPN

Valdez was an excellent fighter at 126, but he hasn’t looked at top form since he moved up to 130 in November of 2019. He struggled to beat his last two opponents in that weight class in defeating Adam Lopez and Jayson Velez in hard-fought matches.

Those performances showed that Valdez isn’t the same fighter at super featherweight that he was at 126, but there’s no turning back now. He’s already scheduled for the Berchelt fight, and he’s going to need to make the best of it.

Valdez has had problems taking heavy shots since his fight with Miguel Marriaga in 2017; his punch resistance may have been compromised in that fight.

Moving forward, Valdez will need to minimize the number of shots that the offensive-minded Berchelt lands on him when they meet up on December 12th. That means that Valdez needs to resist his slugging instincts for this fight because he’s not facing another fringe level fighter like the ones he’s been mostly facing since he turned pro eight years ago in 2012.

YouTube video

Miguel Berchelt looking unbeatable

Berchelt, 28, is like a machine right now, rolling over his opposition smoothly since winning the WBC title in 2017. The way that Berchelt is dispatching his opponents, it’s not a good idea for Valdez to get in the trenches and slug with him.

Berchelt’s wins since 2018

  • Johnathan Victor Barros
  • Miguel ‘Mickey’ Roman
  • Francisco Vargas
  • Jason Sosa
  • Eleazar Valenzuela

The tough as nails Roman (62-13, 47 KOs) gave Berchelt all he ould handle for eight rounds before getting stopped in the ninth in their fight in November 2018.

What Roman showed in that fight is that Berchelt is vulnerable when dealing with someone that can hang in there and land shots. However, it ultimately failed to produce a win for Roman as Berchelt eventually blasted him out in the 9th.

Valdez doesn’t possess the chin that Miguel Roman has, so it ould be a mistake for him even to consider slugging it out in a toe-to-toe manner like he usually does. In Valdez’s fight against former WBA super bantamweight champion Scott Quigg (35-3,-2 26 KOs) in March 2018, he showed top-notch defensive skills after he suffered a broken jaw in the 5th round.

Image: Miguel Berchelt vs. Oscar Valdez set for December 12th on ESPN

Fighting with his mouth open with blood pouring out of it, Valdez adapted his game and was able to outbox Quigg the last seven rounds of the contest to pound out a win.

The discipline that Valdez showed in that fight was remarkable, as he changed his fighting style from brawling to boxing, and he didn’t revert the way that a less disciplined fighter would. For Valdez to defeat Berchelt, he’s going to need to fight that type of course and not stray from it because he’s not going to be able to outslug the bigger, stronger, and younger Berchelt.