By Dan Ambrose: Miguel ‘El Alacran’ Berchelt weighed in successfully at 135 pounds on Friday for his 12 round lightweight debut against former super featherweight world title challenger Jeremia Nakathila (22-2, 18 KOs) on Saturday night at the Resorts World Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 31-year-old Nakathila weighed in at 133.6 lbs. Berchelt vs. Nakathila will be shown LIVE on ESPN and ESPN+.
After losing his WBC super featherweight title to Oscar Valdez by a 10th round knockout a little over a year ago in February 2021, Berchelt is finally returning to the ring at 135.
In his fight against Valdez, Berchelt looked weight drained, and nothing like the fighter that had held the WBC 130-lb title from 2017 to 2021.
As bad as Berchelt looked during fight week, it came to no surprise that he was belted around the ring at will by Valdez. He didn’t look like he belonged out there that night.
Berchelt (38-2 34 KOs) should have got back in action months ago, but he decided to wait 13 months before coming back from his devasting loss to Valdez.
It’s questionable whether Berchelt will be able to capture a belt in the lightweight division because he looks like an old 30, and his power might not be enough in this weight class for him to dominate like before.
The last prime opponent that Berchelt beat was way back in 2018 when he defeated Miguel ‘Mickey’ Roman by a ninth-round knockout.
Berchelt’s wins since then have come against an old fossilized Fernando ‘El Bandito’ Vargas, a badly faded Jason Soso, and journeyman Eleazar Valenzuela Carrillo.
Those wins ate up the three years heading into his disastrous showing against Oscar Valdez. Berchelt was NOT ready to fight a guy like Berchelt after fighting strictly cream puffs for the three years leading into that contender.
It wasn’t so much the weight, it was the absence of quality opposition that Berchelt had been fighting that contributed to him losing to Valdez. It was a mad witch’s brew of inactivity, weak opposition, aging, and weight gain that eventually proved to be Berchelt’s undoing.
As such, it wasn’t surprising that Berchelt was thrashed by Valdez because he’d had too many soft jobs in the years preceding that fight, and hadn’t kept himself active enough by fighting often to prepare himself to fight an elite-level fighter.
In what could be viewed as a harbinger for problems on Saturday, Berchelt is already looking past Nakathila, seemingly counting it as a win in the bank by talking up a title shot that he wants against undisputed lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr.
Berchelt could be in for a rude awakening on Saturday night when he gets inside the ring with the powerful Nakathila and he discovers how hard this guy hits.
Nakathila is a bigger puncher than Valdez, and Takashi Miura, which are probably the hardest hitters Berchelt has faced during his 12-year professional career.
This writer hates to say it but I see Nakathilia sparking Berchelt out on Saturday night and basically ending his career as we know it.
Nakathilia is too powerful, and Berchelt looks older now, slower, slightly chubby around the midsection, and not the ‘El Alacran’ that he’d been during his best years.
What we’re going to see is Nakathila land something big on Berhchelt early that shakes him to his boots, and then he’s going to quickly finish him off.
Other weights on Saturday’s Berchelt-Nakathila card:
Jose Enrique Vivas 126.2 vs. Eduardo Baez 126.6
Carlos Caraballo 120 vs. Luis Fernando Saavedra 120
Tiger Johnson 142 vs. Sebastian Gabriel Chaves 143.2
Josue Vargas 142 vs. Nicolas Pablo Demario 141.6
Haven Brady Jr. 127 vs. Jose Argel 126.6
Dante Benjamin Jr. 173.6 vs. Kevin Johnson 174.4
Arturo Cardenas 122.4 vs. Juan Hernandez Martinez 123.6
Adrian Serrano 134.4 vs. Estevan Partida 133.6