Miguel Berchelt wasn’t very concerned with discussing future challenges until he was able to take care of present-day business.
The same sentiment is shared by his next potential challenger.
Oscar Valdez and his team were interested observers in Berchelt’s latest ring adventure and for good reason. The two are due to collide at some point once boxing events can return to taking place with fans in attendance. Current social distancing and health protocols due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic prevent that from happening, forcing Berchelt and Valdez to take stay-busy fights on the road to their forthcoming junior lightweight title fight.
Merida, Mexico’s Berchelt took care of his end, scoring a one-sided 6th round stoppage of countryman Eleazar Valenzuela in their ESPN-televised non-title fight last month in Mexico City. The bout took place at lightweight, not counting toward Berchelt’s long-running 130-pound title reign where he has made six defenses since claiming the belt in an 11th round knockout of Francisco Vargas in January 2017.
Next up will presumably be Valdez (27-0, 21KOs), an unbeaten former featherweight titlist now campaigning in the 130-pound division. He and his team were among the interested observers for Saturday’s affair.
“Miguel Berchelt did what he had to do against a journeyman like Valenzuela,” Frankie Espinoza, Valdez’s manager told BoxingScene.com. “The result didn’t surprise us.”
The 29-year old from Nogales, Mexico—who now lives in West Covina, California—is currently preparing for an ESPN headliner of his own, as he is due to face Puerto Rico’s Jayson Velez (29-6-1, 21KOs) atop a July 21 telecast from MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Valdez will fight at 130 pounds for the second time, following a 3 ½-year stay as a featherweight titlist. His debut at the weight involved a major scare, overcoming a 2nd round knockdown to rally and stop Adam ‘Blunose’ Lopez last November in Las Vegas. Lopez was a late replacement for Andres Gutierrez, who badly missed weight and was pulled from the show.
Needless to say, Valdez’s next bout is all that is currently on his mind without spending too much time—or any at all—thinking about his shot at becoming a two-division titlist.
“Oscar Valdez is currently focused only on Jayson Velez, who is a much tougher foe than Valenzuela,” points out Espinoza. “Valdez is looking to make a statement on July 21st, then looking forward to challenge Berchelt [later] in 2020.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox