Oscar Valdez: Berchelt is not going to be an easy fight
(Photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank)
Former world champion Oscar Valdez (28-0-0, 22 KO's) of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico will look to get his second world title in his second weight class as he takes on fellow Mexican WBC super featherweight champion Miguel “Alacran” Berchelt (38-1-0, 34 KO's), this Saturday in the bubble of the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas live on ESPN.
“I have dreamed of this moment since I was a kid. Fighting for the WBC title. I’m excited for this moment. I can’t wait to step in the ring. This fight has all the ingredients to be fight of the year,” Valdez said. “Berchelt will bring out the best fighter in me. We can box, we can brawl, it depends what "Alacran" Berchelt brings to the table. I will be the smarter fighter. We are two Mexicans that are willing to win and leave it all in the ring,” Valdez added.
Coming into this fight, not only physically but mentally prepared, Valdez has had a solid camp in San Diego, California working with his coach, 2019 Trainer of the Year Eddie Reynoso. Valdez is part of an all-star stable which includes Mexican superstar Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, lightweight Ryan Garcia, former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz, flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez, and former champion Luis Nery.
“I come well prepared physically and mentally. I have had one of the best training camps ever. Not only because I had to train physically but mentally as well. I am very well prepared for this fight. I feel a more complete fighter since working with Eddie," Oscar Valdez on his preparation for this fight. "I prepare for all styles. For this fight we have a plan A and plan B. We know Berchelt uses his distance and boxes well, but he likes to brawl. It depends, what he brings to the ring. I will be ready for what he brings. I sparred various styles during camp,” Valdez added.
This past summer Valdez stopped former world title contender Jayson Velez of Puerto Rico in ten rounds in his last fight at the Bubble at MGM Grand.
The 2012 Olympian has made his splash in the sport going undefeated in his first 19 fights and won his first world title with a stunning knockout over Matias Rueda in the summer of 2016. Now he will have the biggest fight of his career when he takes on his fellow countryman Berchelt.
"I feel I have evolved as fighter over the years." Valdez said. “I consider myself a disciplined fighter. So, I’m very positive, I visualize myself as a winner, but I know Berchelt is not going to be an easy fight,”
Berchelt, of Cancun, won the WBC title in January of 2017 by stopping Francisco Vargas late in the eleventh round. Since then the champ has defended his title five times including a rematch stoppage over Vargas. His last title defense came in November of 2019 as he scored a fourth round knockout over Jason Sosa. Berchelt is coming off a stoppage over Eleazar Valenzuela in a non-title bout in Mexico City.
"Berchelt is a very smart and explosive boxer but we are ready for what he brings," Valdez said. “February 20th, we have an obligation to leave it all in the ring and do whatever is possible to win,”
In what is the biggest fight in Mexican boxing, it is expected to be a clash reminiscent to the Mexican classics of Barrera Morales and Vasquez Marquez. Valdez gave his take on those fights and rivalries as he was thrilled to be mentioned among those names.
“Those fights between Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales inspired me as kid, as an amateur. I get pumped every time I see those fights. Those fights impacted my life. They gave us some memorable fights. It would be an honor for me to inspire kids, the same way those fights and fighters inspired me,” Valdez said. “If you try to force a fight sometimes it doesn’t go well. It’s just the willingness to win. I will give it 100 percent. Every time I’ve done that, I give a great fight. It’s a matter of not backing down but showing who is the best in the ring. That has been the case with Barrera Morales, Vasquez Marquez,”
With a win over Berchelt, Valdez will become a two-division world champion as he hopes to become one of Mexico's great.
“I want to be considered one of the best Mexican boxers of all times. It’s a long road but a win over Berchelt will help me get there. Becoming great like Julio Cesar Chavez, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez. Those are legends and this is my time to shine,” Valdez on his willingness to be one of Mexico's greats.
Expect Valdez to leave it all in the ring as is always the case. Having fought through adversity on numerous occasions, Valdez hit the canvas numerous times in his career but has been able to get up and come out victorious. His thrilling win over Scott Quigg fighting with a broken jaw and winning a decision out in the storm. Valdez has become the modern day Arturo Gatti as he wont disappoint and will leave it all in the ring.
“I have fought through adversity. I have gotten up off the canvas, fought with a broken rib, a broken jaw. I have gone through it all,” Valdez stated. “My old amateur trainer, may he rest in peace once told me. Don’t promise anything, don’t promise a knockout but what you can promise is your willingness to leave it all in the ring and that is what I will do when I fight Berchelt,”
Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla