Super featherweight showdown.
The 2021 Fight of the Year race has officially started, as Miguel Berchelt and Oscar Valdez will face off in one of the most anticipated all-Mexican fistic showdowns in years.
Cancun’s Berchelt will defend his WBC super featherweight world title against Nogales native Valdez in a special Top Rank on ESPN telecast Saturday, Feb. 20.
“Miguel Berchelt and Oscar Valdez are two proud Mexican warriors who will give boxing fans a memorable fight,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Top Rank promoted all three bouts between Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, and I view Berchelt-Valdez as this generation’s Barrera-Morales."
Berchelt (38-1, 34 KOs) has held the WBC super featherweight title since January 2017, when he knocked out Francisco Vargas in the 11th round. His last five title defenses have ended via the quick route, including a ninth-round TKO over Miguel Roman, a sixth-round TKO over Vargas in their May 2019 rematch, and a fourth-round knockout over former world champion Jason Sosa. He fought last June in a non-title bout and knocked out Eleazar Valenzuela in six one-sided rounds. His lone loss occurred six years ago.
“This fight is the one that I dreamed of since we were both amateur fighters,” Berchelt said. “Valdez is a great fighter, and it will be a great fight. I am preparing with everything to win by knockout and leave no doubt that I am the best super featherweight in the world."
Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) is a two-time Mexican Olympian who vacated the WBO featherweight world title last year after six title defenses, which included scintillating 12-round barnburners against the likes of Scott Quigg, Genesis Servania and Miguel Marriaga. He suffered a severely broken jaw against Quigg in March 2018, returned 11 months later, and has since won four consecutive bouts. Since moving up to 130 pounds, Valdez has scored stoppage wins over Adam Lopez and Jayson Velez.
Valdez said, "Whenever there are two Mexicans in the ring, it is a guaranteed war, and it will be an honor for me to bring a great war to my fans."
"“I know Berchelt is coming for the KO and I like that," Valdez told fightnews.com. "He wants to try my chin, but he has to be careful because I have power too, be careful because I can punch too."
Valdez failed to impress in his last fight, though he stopped little known Jayson Velez.