Miguel Berchelt won’t retire after loss to Jeremiah Nakathila

By Boxing News - 03/27/2022 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Miguel Berchelt (38-3, 34 KOs) says he will continue his career following his sixth-round stoppage defeat against super featherweight slugger Jeremiah Nakathila (23-2, 19 KOs) last Saturday night at the Resorts World Las Vegas, Las Vegas.

The fight was halted by the referee Russell Mora after the sixth round ended. In the last 30 seconds of the round, Nakathila knocked Berchelt’s mouthpiece out with a vicious right hand to the head that staggered the former WBC super featherweight champion.

Although Berchelt made it out of the round, he was visibly staggering as he drunkenly walked back to his corner. Moments later, Mora walked up to Berchelt’s corner and waved it off. He’d seen enough of the one-sided fight to let the 30-year-old Berchelt continue to take a pasting from the knockout artist Nakathila.

The fight had never been competitive from the opening bell, as Berchelt lacked the defense, punch output, or the willingness to stand and let his hands go to make it a real fight.

In the handful of instances that Berchelt did let his hands go in the fifth, Nakathila looked bothered by the shots, but he kept throwing punches back without let up. For Berchelt to have stood a chance of winning, he would have needed to match Nakathila’s punch output, but he lacked the chin to do that.

Nakathila knocked Berchelt down in the third round with a stiff jab to the head. Berchelt wasn’t hurt. He didn’t expect the punch, and it knocked him off balance.

Things started to get out of hand in the fight in the fifth round after Nakathila began to unload with nonstop power shots. Surprisingly, that was Berchelt’s best round of the battle despite eating a lot of punches.

Berchelt isn’t shot

This writer disagrees with the many boxing fans that believe that Berchelt is over-the-hill. He’s not. If you look at the opposition he was facing until recently, he NEVER fought anyone as dangerous as Nakathila and Oscar Valdez during his successful career.

Until last year, the best guys that Berchelt fought were these fighters:

  • Francisco Vargas
  • Takashi Miura
  • Miguel ‘Mickey’ Roman
  • Jason Sosa

Of that bunch, the hard-hitting former WBC super featherweight champion Miura gave Berchelt the most trouble in their fight in 2017.

Miura was a smaller, slower, and weaker version of Nakahila, yet he gave Berchelt all he could handle in their fight five years ago.

Fast-forwarding to last night, Berchelt looked like the same fighter that fought Miura in 2017, but the difference was that he was fighting a stronger puncher with more speed and much higher punch output than Miura.

You can argue that if Berchelt fought Nakathila in 2017, which was the prime of his career, he would have lost in the same way. Berchelt would have never beaten Nakathila or Oscar Valdez because he was never that good of a fighter, to begin with.

All the positive press that Berchelt gained over the last five years was based on wins over this beatable bunch: an old Fernando Vargas, Soso, Miura, and Roman.

Image: Miguel Berchelt won't retire after loss to Jeremiah Nakathila

They’d have lost if you took those same fighters and put them in with Oscar Valdez, Nakathila, Shakur Stevenson, Hector Luis Garcia, or Shavkat Rakhimov.

My point is that Berchelt never beat anyone solid during his reign as the WBC 130-lb champion from 2017 to 2021. The 130-lb division was weak during Berchelt’s four-year reign as the WBC champion.

If Berchelt had to fight guys like Stevenson, Nakathila, Valdez, Garcia, and Rakhimov in 2017, he would have lost to them. Berchelt was never a great fighter, to begin with.

When Berchelt finally was matched against two quality super featherweights in back-to-back fights against Valdez & Nakathila, he was exposed. Berchelt isn’t over-the-hill, as many casuals believe to be the case. He’s not good enough to beat the top guys in the improved 130-lb division.

Berchelt is lucky that the super featherweight division was weak during his reign as the WBC champion because he would have lost if he’d fought those killers in the weight class now.

“I’m going to get up; I’m going to rise from this,” Berchelt said. “The great champions are not the ones who fall. The great champions are those who rise. I am going to come back stronger than ever.”

“I’m a little bit surprised. I thought I was in condition to continue, but the referee decided to stop the fight. I wanted to continue,” said Berchelt.

As long as Berchelt isn’t under the illusion that he will capture another world title for the remainder of his career, he’ll be fine. There are guys at 135 that I believe Berchelt would have a good chance of beating, but not the top fighters.

Winnable fights for Berchelt at 135

  • George Kambosos
  • Ryan Garcia
  • Michel Rivera
  • Devin Haney
  • Isaac Cruz
  • Javier Fortuna

The fighters that will give Berchelt issues at lightweight are Vasyl Lomachenko, Richard Commey, Jorge Linares, Gervanta Davis, and Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero.

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“It was a good call by the ref. He was taking too many blows to the head with those right hands. I’ve got to give it to the other guy,” said Teofimo Lopez to Fight Hub TV.

“Jeremiah, he did a good thing. I think it was a great fight overall, though. Those guys banged it out, and the crowd was on their feet at one point. Both guys were trading blows.

“It’s just the consistency of how many blows you can take up there. I think the referee saw it and his corner saw it too and everybody else. It was a good call.

“Especially after the mouthpiece [in the sixth]. We saw it. Right after the mouthpiece, he was going into the neutral corner, and you could see that his legs were gone,” said Teofimo about Berchelt having his mouthpiece knocked out in the sixth round by a right hand from Nakathila.

“It was a good call by the ref, good call by his corner. It’s good. They save a fighter’s life to live another day,” said Teofimo on the referee, choosing to halt the contest at the end of the sixth round due to Berchelt looking hurt.