Miguel Berchelt considering moving to 135

By Boxing News - 03/06/2021 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Miguel Berchelt is still contemplating making a move up to the lightweight [135-lbs] division to seek greener pastures after losing his WBC super featherweight title to Oscar Valdez last month.

It’s unclear why Berchelt, 29, and his team haven’t already decided to go up to 135, as he should have made a move a couple of years ago.

Berchelt has gotten away with being too big for the 130-lb division due to his opposition being inferior. ‘El Alacran’ Berchelt hadn’t fought anyone exceptionally talented in the last several years, so he was able to hold onto his World Boxing Council 130lb strap longer than he otherwise would have.

Berchelt (37-2, 33 KOs) looked and fought like a weight-drained fighter in getting beaten up and stopped in the 10th round by Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs) on February 20th at ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It was a pure thrashing Berchelt took in getting knocked down hard in rounds 4, 9, and 10. The final knockdown was a left hand from Valdez that knocked Berchelt clean out.

Image: Miguel Berchelt considering moving to 135

You can understand why Berchelt might not want to move up to 135, as he would have to deal with talented fighters like Devin Haney, Vasily Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez, Ryan Garcia, and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.

If Berchelt performs the way he did against Valdez, he would likely lose to all of his fighters and be forced to make a tough decision about his career.

Assuming Berchelt stays at 130, he may have to go in a different direction towards fights against WBA ‘regular’ champion Roger Gutierrez, IBF champ Joseph Diaz Jr or the winner of the Jamel Herring vs. Carl Frampton fight.

Berchelt could probably beat those guys even if he were weight drained. But it would not be brilliant for Berchelt to face Oscar Valdez again because that guy is too quick, too skilled, and too powerful.

“It was not my best version; the truth is that I did not feel fast as on other nights; it may be that the weight affected me, maybe the lightweight I see very close,” said Berchelt to ESPN Knockout.

“We’ll sit down with our team and see what is best for me, what is best for Miguel Berchelt. Without a doubt, the Lightweight category I see very close. Without a doubt, we are going to return stronger.”

It’s going to be a tough decision for Berchelt either way, as he may fail. We don’t know how he will respond when he comes back because he took a beating and knocked cold by Valdez.

If that knockout has made Berchelt susceptible to getting hurt easier in future fights, his career is going to implode quickly.

Berchelt is similar to Teofimo Lopez in that he’s used his superior size for the 130lb division to dominate his smaller opponent. Teofimo has done the same thing at 135, and his future is uncertain when he moved up to 140.

Being bigger than his opponents, Berchelt has enjoyed the success that he may not have had all these years if he had been fighting against guys his own size at 135 or 140.

The way Berchelt has looked in the last two years, he’s more of a light welterweight than he is a lightweight or super featherweight. If Berchelt moves up to 135, he may still weight-drained because he’s still too heavy for that division.

That’s the thing with these fighters that depend on their size to dominate. They can get away with it for several years, but sooner or later, it catches up to them, and they’re literally forced to fight in divisions that are suited to their frames.

Image: Miguel Berchelt considering moving to 135

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr is one of many examples of fighters that have used size to win fights. When Chavez Jr was fighting at 160, he was much bigger than his opposition after he’d rehydrate.

He used size to thrash his smaller opponents. It finally caught up to Chavez Jr in 2012 when he could no longer fight with the same power he once did because he was drained, making 160.