By: Hans Themistode
Oscar Valdez almost couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
Following a tenth-round stoppage win over fringe contender Jayson Velez in July of 2020, WBC super featherweight titlist Miguel Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) entered the ring, placed his arm around Valdez and posed for pictures. The win for Valdez was the last hurdle that needed to be cleared before he was given a title shot against the aforementioned Berchelt.
Watching from his ringside seat on the night was Hall of Famer and one of the best Mexican fighters in boxing history in Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. While Valdez may have picked up the win, Chavez Sr. doesn’t believe he has enough in the tank to handle Berchelt.
“He lacked a little more aggressiveness and wasn’t punching as much,” said Chavez Sr. to ESPN Deportes. ”I thought he looked ordinary. That Oscar Valdez, the one I saw, I think is not enough to beat Miguel Berchelt.”
Valdez, 30, knows good and well that almost no one expects him to pull off the victory this weekend. That much doesn’t really bother him. However, when the former WBO featherweight belt holder heard that someone he reveres so much is also picking against him, Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) admits that his former idol gave him major fuel to prove him wrong.
“That motivates me, said Valdez to Jose Luis Camarillo. “I have listened to my great idol Julio Cesar Chavez, who says Berchelt is going to win. That motivates me. There is nothing more beautiful in life than when you stay quiet and let your fists speak for themselves.”
There are a number of reasons why Chavez Sr. and a long list of others are on the side of Berchelt. For starters, the undefeated former champion struggled in his last contest before moving up in weight against Adam Lopez. In what figured to be an easy night at the office, Valdez found himself down on the canvas in round two before ultimately stopping his man in the seventh round. Valdez also has only one contest under his belt at his new weight class.
As for Berchelt, he’s been blasting out just about everyone to the tune of 16 knockout wins in his last 17 bouts.
Despite the impressive run and regardless of what his naysayers have to say, Valdez is trying to stay away from the negativity. Those who are dubious of his chances of winning are more than entitled to their opinion. With that being said, Valdez can’t wait to shut the mouths of everyone.
“I never let a bad comment affect me, I always try to make sure everything is fine in my camp. I stay positive – that’s what wins the fights. A good atmosphere, arrive well prepared physically, but even more so mentally. Losing is not an option.”