Valdez Ready To Take On Berchelt

One of Oscar Valdez’s goals once boxing is allowed to return to action? Fight for the WBC Super-Featherweight Title, currently being held by Miguel Berchelt.

The 29-year-old Valdez (27-0) has been the WBO Featherweight Champion and defended the belt six times. Something he hasn’t done yet, however, is fight for another title in a different weight class. Valdez has a claim for Berchelt’s (37-1) belt, something he believes belongs to him.

“We only have one fighter in mind right now, which is ‘El Alacran’ Berchelt because I’m the mandatory fighter,” Valdez told Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher. “It’s a mandatory fight, and there were rumors it was going to be May 9. I was already back in training camp in San Diego for May 9, but then we got the news that {May 9} was Jose Ramirez and Viktor Postol. We just continued training. It wasn’t going to hurt us to remain in camp.

“The fight has to happen. I think, on our side, we’re ready to sign the contract because I’m going for my dream. I want that belt. We want to make it official, and I was already training for that fight. Right now, we just gotta train back home. It is what it is.”

Valdez turned pro in 2012. Since 2015 the competition for him has grown. Winning the WBO-NABO Featherweight Title from Evgeny Gradovich, Valdez beat Matias Rueda for the vacant WBO Featherweight Title. He has since beaten fighters like Miguel Marriaga, Scott Quigg and Carmine Tommasone. He last fought in November, beating Adam Lopez via TKO.

While there are possibilities to face fighters like Leo Santa Cruz or Shakur Stevenson, Valdez believes his destiny is to face someone he calls a higher-ranked opponent. If Shakur was to go to 130 and Leo Santa Cruz was able to work out a deal with Premier Boxing Champions, then things would get exciting.

Berchelt hasn’t lost a bout since 2014. He won the interim WBO Super-Featherweight Title from George Jupp and the undisputed title from Francisco Vargas. Defending it six times, twice in 2019, Berchelt believes that Valdez isn’t someone that should want to go after him.

“It’s worth noting that Oscar has already suffered an injury on his jaw,” Berchelt stated. “If I’m not mistaken, it happened in his fight against Scott Quigg. He broke his jaw. That’s why I believe they are going to try to fight a smart fight. He is also moving up in weight, and I don’t think he should be trading punches with me.”

Valdez believes “El Alacran” is “the toughest fighter in that division”, making his journey to the top that much harder. If anything, this would be the farthest he would go, as a lot is on the line for Valdez’s future.

“I don’t think I’m moving up any time soon,” said Valdez. “I’ve been a featherweight for pretty much all my career, ever since I turned pro in 2012. I think it was time to go up to 130. I don’t see myself going up any time soon. I want to accomplish my dream to become a world champion again. That’s why I’m going after this challenge now.”

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