By Keith Idec
Miguel Berchelt has heard and read all he can stand from fellow Mexican Miguel Roman.
Berchelt admits that his challenger has gotten under his skin by talking trash throughout the buildup toward their 12-round, 130-pound title bout Saturday night in El Paso, Texas. The defending WBC world super featherweight champion plans to take out his anger on Roman when they square off at UTEP’s Don Haskins Center in a fight ESPN+ will stream live as the main event of an eight-bout card.
“There is more at stake in this fight than just victory,” Berchelt said during an open workout Tuesday in El Paso. “This is about pride! I want to teach Mickey a lesson in his own backyard. I am fed up with all the talking he has done. In the ring, my quality as an elite fighter and my fists will do the talking. … Mickey has talked a lot, and we are going to brawl.”
The 26-year-old Berchelt (34-1, 30 KOs) will make the fourth defense of the WBC 130-pound crown he won when he knocked out another Mexican, Francisco Vargas, in the 11th round of their January 2017 battle in Indio, California.
The 32-year-old Roman (60-12, 47 KOs) is 0-2 in world title bouts, but neither of those fights were contested within the 130-pound division.
Argentina’s Jonathan Barros beat Roman by unanimous decision in their 12-round fight for the WBA world featherweight title 7½ years ago in Junin, Argentina. A year after Barros beat him, Antonio DeMarco knocked out Roman in the fifth round of their WBC lightweight championship match in Los Mochis, Mexico.
Berchelt is confident Roman will leave the ring Saturday night 0-3 in world championship matches.
“I am so eager to put Roman in his place that when I spar, I imagine I’m sparring him and I push my sparring partners to the limit,” Berchelt said. “Apologies to all my sparring partners because I have hurt them during sparring. But when that happens, the action stops immediately and I apologize to them. I’m just thinking of Roman.”
The entire Berchelt-Roman undercard will be streamed by ESPN+ starting at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. ET. The co-featured fight Saturday night – a 10-round featherweight bout in which Colombia’s Miguel Marriaga (26-3, 22 KOs) will meet Mexico’s Jose Estrella (20-14-1, 14 KOs) – is set to begin shortly after 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.