By Miguel Rivera
The second defense of WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt (32-1, 28 KOs) was confirmed last week, as the dangerous puncher will face veteran Cristian Mijares (58-8-2, 26 KOs) in Cancun on February 2.
Berchelt comes back from a banner year, as he stopped Francisco Vargas to capture the WBC crown and then retained the belt with a dominating twelve round decision over mandatory challenger Takashi Miura.
He was scheduled to return in December against Orlando Salido, but the champion suffered an injury and he was forced to withdraw.
Berchelt was replaced in that fight by dangerous Miguel Roman, who shocked the veteran with a ninth round knockout.
Salido retired after the fight, but then announced that he would continue his career four days later.
"We could not fight but in his last fight we saw that he was deteriorated, time caught up with him," says Berchelt.
"All of his fights were wars and that's why he's now paying the bill. I am a supporter [of his], but nobody should risk that much. We must take care of ourselves because one day we stop being champions and everything is over."
For this very reason, Berchelt is taking every precaution against Mijares, a former multi-division world champion.
"This will be Mijares' last chance to reclaim a world title and that makes him very dangerous," says Berchelt. "He's 36 years old and he stopped being a champion a while ago and he has not been able to get it back.
"I can not place my confidence in victory based on Mijares's age. When I was matched against Bandido Vargas, it was because he considered me the weakest opponent and I took the title from him; I do not intend to neglect anything myself because that same thing can happen to me. I went out for an opportunity and now I'm returning to my people."