LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Miguel Berchelt will have his entire team in tow this weekend.
Lingering issues surrounding the visa status of Alfredo Caballero, Berchelt’s longtime trainer have been resolved and with the renowned cornerman currently en route from Mexico to Las Vegas. A previous filing conflict forced Caballero to remain behind as the rest of their team made their way to the MGM Grand bubble for this weekend’s junior lightweight title fight.
Cancun’s Berchelt (38-1, 34KOs) will attempt the seventh defense of his WBC junior lightweight title versus countryman Oscar Valdez (28-0, 22KOs). The bout will air live on ESPN from MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. There was the concern that the long-reigning champ would have to go without the on-site advice of one of the most respected trainers in the sport, although—much like in the ring—he was prepared for any scenario.
“We would have been fine even if he couldn’t make it but I am grateful that it has been resolved and that he will be here on Saturday evening,” Berchelt noted during Thursday’s final pre-fight press conference. “We did all of the hard work in Los Mochis. I’ve waited for this fight for a long time and we know what to do to win.”
Berchelt and the rest of his team made the trip from Mexico on Monday. Caballero was forced to work things out with U.S. immigration due to a discrepancy in his visa application. Attorneys for Top Rank—who promotes Berchelt and Valdez, and presents this weekend’s event—worked feverishly with Caballero and his legal representatives to resolve the matter in time to ensure his place at ringside this weekend.
The fight itself has been in the works for more than a year. Berchelt and Valdez won separate bouts in Nov. 2019 with the anticipation of meeting last spring. Those plans were halted due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with both fighters afforded stay-busy fights on ESPN last summer which represents their most recent bouts.
Berchelt scored a 6th round knockout of Eleazar Valenzuela last June in Mexico City, while Valdez became the first to stop veteran contender Jayson Velez via 10th round knockout last July in Las Vegas. The wins set up a rescheduled date of the last December 12th in this very venue, only for another delay came about when Berchelt tested positive for COVID-19.
Two months later and five days into fight week, everyone is cleared to move forward with one of the most anticipated fights of 2021.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox