Miguel Berchelt has run roughshod over the junior lightweight division, successfully defending the WBC 130-pound title six times. Now, he’ll face perhaps his most dangerous challenger in the division in the form of fellow Mexican Oscar Valdez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
DraftKings Sportsbook pegs Berchelt as a strong -455 favorite over Valdez (+300), though both men come into the fight with no shortage of confidence.
Champion Chasing Legendary Mexican Record
Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) is working towards matching or surpassing Julio Cesar Chavez’s record of nine consecutive title defenses in the junior lightweight division. Breaking the record of perhaps the most heralded Mexican boxer of all time would turn Berchelt into a legend, too.
“Imagine, breaking a record for Chavez who is the greatest Mexican boxer in history would be something great for me, it would be something to show my children and grandchildren,” Berchelt told Ahora o Nunca (Now or Never). “That one day they say that the best super featherweight in the history of Mexican boxing is Miguel ‘Alacran’ Berchelt for me would be the maximum.”
But Berchelt isn’t taking anything for granted. He has shown plenty of respect for the undefeated Valdez heading into the fight.
“I don’t feel like a favorite. I’m not going to step in the ring that way,” Berchelt said via a translator at Friday’s weigh-in. “All I know is I’m going to go in there and give everything. You’re going to see all the hard work I put in in the gym. We’re going to come away with a huge victory.”
Valdez: Berchelt is no ‘Monster’
Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) held the WBO featherweight title before moving up a division in 2019. He’s 2-0 with two knockouts since then, setting up the massive fight with Berchelt.
Despite his success, Valdez hasn’t built the reputation or the resume that Berchelt has. That has Valdez feeling confident heading into the fight.
|Berchelt vs. Valdez Odds (via DraftKings Sportsbook)|
|Miguel Berchelt: -455||Oscar Valdez: +300|
|Method of Victory|
|Berchelt by KO/TKO/DQ: -167||Valdez by KO/TKO/DQ: +650|
|Berchelt by Decision: +350||Valdez by Decision: +700|
“Everybody considers him the monster,” Valdez told ESPN’s Mark Kriegel. “I don’t see it that way. He hasn’t fought a guy who can box. He’s slower. I see a lot of openings.”
Oddsmakers don’t see this fight going the distance. DraftKings is offering +190 on the bout going the full 12 rounds, compared to -265 on an early ending. The sportsbook also sees both men as more likely to finish the first by KO or TKO than winning on points.
In the co-main event, junior lightweight prospect Gabriel Flores Jr. (19-0, 6 KOs) will take on Jayson Velez (29-7-1, 21 KOs). Flores comes into the fight at a -1250 favorite over Velez (+575) in what looks to be a high-profile tune-up for the 20-year-old American.