Oscar Valdez ready for the fight of his career against Miguel Berchelt
By Sean Jones: Oscar Valdez is excited about his fight this Saturday night against Miguel Berchelt in their long-awaited war in ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. ESPN will stream the fight event live. Fight fans outside the US can watch the fight LIVE on FITE TV (click here).
Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) has been looking forward to challenging WBC super featherweight champion Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) for a long time, and now he’s finally ready to face him.
The two-time Mexican Olympian Valdez has figured out Berchelt’s style, and he believes he has the perfect game plan to deal with his style.
Berchelt hasn’t been bashful about letting the boxing fans know what he intends on trying to do when he gets inside the ring with Valdez.
He wants to KO Oscar because this is his moment in the sun where the fans, both casual and hardcore, will notice him.
Berchelt needs to make it exciting for him to win over the fans that have been him before, and the best way for him to do that is to turn it into a war with Valdez right from the start.
Valdez to fight smart
“I’m really excited about this moment. I’ve been dreaming about this moment since I was a little kid,” said Oscar Valdez to Fighthype on his fight against Berchelt.
“I can’t help myself, I’m very excited about this. For sure, it means everything to me right now. I just can’t wait right now to step on the scale and make weight, and then on Saturday, let’s do this.
“For sure, I’ve got to fight the smartest fight out there,” said Valdez on what he needs to do for him to win against Berchelt.
“I can’t let my emotions get the best of me inside the ring, and I got to try and be focused as much as possible.
To be the smarter fighter, every mistake he makes, try to take advantage of it to use it to my advantage. For sure,” said Valdez when asked if he needs to get on the inside against the bigger Berchelt.
“If you look at fighters like Juan Manuel Marquez and Julio Cesar Chavez, they were smart fighters. They weren’t just going out there to put their hands out and swing.
“They were smart fighters, bobbing and weaving, going side to side, using head movement, and counter-punching. That’s what I consider being a smart fighter,” said Valdez.
It would be a mistake for Valdez to try and slug with the bigger Berchelt because this is his weight class, and he’s someone that wants to make it a war.
The guys that Berchelt has beaten in the past have made it easy for him by trading leather and giving him the advantage.
Berchelt has fought some excellent fighters like Miguel Roman, Francisco Vargas, and Takashi Miura.
The thing that each of them has in common is they tried to out-slug Berchelt, and it cost them big time. Valdez isn’t going to do that because he knows he’s got to fight mart for him to have a shot at winning this fight.
Thankfully, Valdez has been in with big punchers in the past, and he’s shown that he can use his defense to win rather than counting on his offense to get the job done for him.
Valdez is a two-time Olympian who can do many different things rather than just slug, which is what he was doing earlier in his career to win fights.
Valdez’s match against Miguel Marriaga in 2017 taught him that he couldn’t slug with a slugger. He’s got to fight smart, especially on Saturday night when he gets in there with Berchelt.
Oscar glad Berchelt looking for a knockout
“I’m not going to try and stay in there to see if he hits hard or not,” said Valdez about his plans for the fight.
“I’m going to do what it takes to make him miss those shots and connect my shots first,” Valdez said on his plan for the Berchelt match.
“I love the fact that he’s going for a knockout. He said he’s going to look for a knockout. So if he’s looking for a knockout, he better be careful because he’s opening up and giving me opportunities to counter punch.
“This is the fight of my career,” said Valdez. “Even though I’ve had fights with Eddy [Reynoso], this is the fight that will show the true workouts we’ve been doing for a long time already.
“It helped me a lot,” said Oscar about him working out with Canelo Alvarez inside the ring.
“I learned a lot not only from my trainer but also from watching old tapes from my idols. I also learned from each and every guy in the gym.
“From the smallest to the heaviest, there’s something that each fighter does differently from other fighters. So I can learn from Andy Ruiz, and I can learn from somebody.
“I can learn from a young fighter coming up like Ryan [Garcia], and I can learn from everybody. There’s always room to improve.
“So having someone like Canelo to step in the ring with me to spar showed me what to do in tight situations, and it means a lot to me because you know you try to learn from the best.
“One of the best right now is definitely Canelo Alvarez. Every day in the morning during workouts, I say I’m going to win, number one.
‘And the new,’ because that’s what I’m going to try and hear this Saturday night,” said Valdez.
Berchelt will be coming at Valdez from the opening bell like a mad bull, looking to gore him with his shots.
‘El Alacran’ Berchelt will be coming after the smaller Valdez, 29, in the same way, Scott Quigg did when those two fought in 2018. Valdez suffered a broken jaw early on in the Quigg contest when he made the error of electing to meet the British fighter in the center ring to brawl.
Once Valdez was injured, he changed his game plan and boxed beautifully from the fifth round on, and he looked like an entirely different fighter.
When you compare how Valdez fought in the early part of the fight to the way he was in the second half, it was like watching two different guys.
Valdez transformed himself into a slick boxer with Pernell Whitaker-like moves, and he frustrated Quigg the rest of the way.
Valdez sees himself winning
“So, I visualize this fight several ways; brawling him or boxing him, counter-punching, and making the fight however it takes to come out victorious,” continued Valdez.
“There are a lot of ways, but I always visualize myself winning. So I don’t got one prediction, but I do visualize myself as the winner,” said Valdez.
It’s not entirely clear what we’ll get from Berchelt, who really hasn’t taken on a tough opponent since his grueling fight against Miguel ‘Mickey’ Roman in 2018. In Berchelt’s three fights since then, he’s beaten Jason Sosa, journeyman Eleazar Valenzuela, and Francisco Vargas.
While there was a time in which ‘El Bandito’ Vargas was one of the best fighters in the world, he was a shell of his former self by the time he fought Berchelt in a needless rematch in 2019.
There was no point at all in the two fighting a second time, as Berchelt had dominated Vargas in their first fight in 2017.
Vargas had already been beaten up before he fought Berchelt by Orlando Salido in 2016. The contest was scored a 12 round draw, but it was a clear win by Salido, or at least it should have been.
We really don’t know how good Berchelt is at this point because it’s been ages since the last time he fought a guy that had anything left in the tank. Jason Sosa is another one, who was no longer in his prime by the time Berchelt fought him.
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