By Allan Fox: WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. His December 12th title defense against Oscar Valdez is now expected to be postponed until a later date. According to Mike Coppinger, the Berchelt-Valdez fight has now been postponed.
Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) and Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) were scheduled to fight in December in a Top Rank show, but that doesn’t look possible now.
The 28-year-old Berchelt was looking to make his seventh defense of his WBC 130-lb title against Valdez of his title that he won three years ago in beating Francisco Vargas by an 11th round knockout.
Berchelt’s defense against Oscar Valdez was the one that the boxing public in the U.S had a lot more interest in compared to his other fights as the WBC champion.
There’s no word whether the 29-year-old former WBO featherweight champion Valdez will take an interim fight while he waits for Berchelt to recover from his illness.
Valdez recently defeated Jayson Velez (29-7-1, 21 KOs) by a 10th round knockout on July 21st in a stay busy fight. That was Valdez’s only match in 2020, and now it looks there won’t be any other this year unless he takes on a replacement opponent. That’ll be up to his promoters at Top Rank.
“Sources: Miguel Berchelt’s title defense against Oscar Valdez, slated for Dec. 12 on ESPN, has been postponed after the champion tested positive for COVID. @ChavaESPN
first reported the news,” said @MikeCoppinger.
Berchelt has fought last June, stopping journeyman Eleazar Valenzuela (22-13-4, 16 KOs) by a sixth-round knockout in a non-title fight.
That was an odd choice of an opponent for Berchelt to be fighting because he’s capable of so much more.
Berchelt is expected to be moving up to lightweight soon. That’s where he’ll compete against high profile fighters like Teofimo Lopez, Vasily Lomachenko, Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney, and Gervonta Davis.
You can argue that Berchelt should have followed Lomachenko up to the 135-pound weight class two years ago rather than staying at 130 and spinning his wheels on lesser fights.
In 2019, Berchelt successfully defended his title in beating Francisco Vargas in a pointless rematch and Jason Sosa. Those were decent fights, but nowhere near as interesting as the matches that would be available to Berchelt at 135 if he’d moved up to that division last year.
Earlier on Tuesday, former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin tested positive for COVID 19, and his November 21st fight with Dillian Whyte was postponed until January 30th.
Dereck Chisora and Michael Hunter have offered to step up and take the fight with Whyte to try and save the November 21st card, which had been planned to show on Sky Box Office, but there’s no indication that either of those fighters will be accepted.