Miguel Berchelt takes on Oscar Valdez on 2/20 in Las Vegas

By Boxing News - 01/06/2021 - Comments

By Chris Williams: WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt will be facing #1 WBC Oscar Valdez next month in their long-awaited match on February 20th in the main event in a Top Rank promoted card on ESPN in ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The start time for the Berchelt vs. Valdez card is at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

This is a fight that has been building for years, and finally, it’s about to happen. It’s a smart move by Top Rank to let the 30-year-old former WBO featherweight champion Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) take the fight with Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs).

Top Rank can’t wait any longer because Valdez will get beaten if they throw him in with one of the talented 130-pounders like Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, Shakur Stevenson. and Chris Colbert.

Valdez has looked shaky

It’s arguably better for the two-time Olympian Valdez to take his first loss to one of Top Rank’s own guys than for him to face a fighter from another promotional company and get beaten.

Image: Miguel Berchelt takes on Oscar Valdez on 2/20 in Las Vegas

Valdez has been looking shaky for the last four years since he was badly hurt in his fight against Colombian slugger Miguel Marriaga in April 2017.

Marriaga repeatedly hurt Valdez in that fight. While Valdez did eventually win by a 12 round decision, his punch resistance hasn’t been the same ever since.

Valdez has been hurt in three of his last six fights against Scott Quigg, Adam Lopez, and Genesis Servania.

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He likely would have been hurt in all six fights if Top Rank had put him in with power rather than backing him off from opposition that with talent, and matching him against light touches.

“Miguel Berchelt and Oscar Valdez are two proud Mexican warriors who will give boxing fans a memorable fight,” said Bob Arum.

“Top Rank promoted all three bouts between Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, and I view Berchelt-Valdez as this generation’s Barrera-Morales.”

Berchelt vs. Valdez is a good fight, but it’s a little late for it to be a match on the scale of the Barrera vs. Morales rivalry. Those two fought each other in their primes.

Valdez clearly isn’t the fighter he was five years ago, and Top Rank has artificially kept him winning by matching him carefully.

Berchelt has looked great since defeating Francisco Vargas by an 11th round knockout four years ago to capture the WBC 130-lb title.

Image: Miguel Berchelt takes on Oscar Valdez on 2/20 in Las Vegas

Miguel Berchelt in top form

Since that time, Berchelt has breezed through his last seven fights in beating these guys:

  • Takashi Miura
  • Maxwell Awuku
  • Miguel ‘Mickey’ Roman
  • Jonathan Victor Barros
  • Francisco Vargas – rematch, which was little more than a money fight and completely unnecessary given how one-sided their first fight was.
  • Jason Sosa
  • Eleazar Valenzuela – This wasn’t a title defense for Berchelt. It was a stay busy fight during the pandemic.

Berchelt has too much size, power, and too high of a work rate for Valdez to take. Unless Valdez improves dramatically in the chin department y next month, he’s going to get blown out by Berhchelt.

Valdez has a good trainer in Eddy Reynoso, but that’s not going to help him against Berchelt.

Unless Reynoso can get in the ring and take the punches for Valdez on February 20th, he’s not going to last long against Berchelt. Chris Williams sees this fight as a mismatch.

Andrew Cancio vs. Gabriel Flores Jr – 10 rounds

On the Berchelt vs. Valdez undercard, former WBA super featherweight champion Andrew “El Chango” Cancio (21-5-2, 16 KOs) will be the opponent for unbeaten 20-year-old prospect Gabriel Flores Jr (19-0, 6 KOs) in a 10 round bout.

Image: Miguel Berchelt takes on Oscar Valdez on 2/20 in Las Vegas

Cancio, 32, is coming off a seventh-round injury stoppage in November 2019 against Rene Alvarado. ‘El Chango’ didn’t fight at all last year, and now he’s taking on the punching machine Flores Jr. You can guess who is going to win this fight.

It’s too bad Cancio is being thrown to the wolves because he’s still a good fighter. He looked great in twice beating the hard-hitting Alberto Machado in 2019 upset wins.