What is the hold up with Miguel Berchelt?
WBC junior lightweight champion Miguel “El Alacran” Berchelt (37-1, 33ko) has been hoarding that belt long enough and needs to look for a unification match-up. The WBC champion defeated Francisco Vargas (26-2-2, 18ko) back in 2017. He has since made seven defenses of the title, but the last four or five opponents left fans a little unsatisfied.
Now, there is only one option and that is IBF champion Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz (31-1, 15ko); especially since WBA ‘super’ champion Leo Santa Cruz is currently locked into a fight with WBA ‘regular’ lightweight champion Gervonta Davis.
Furthermore, IBF champion Jamel Herring is on a collision course with two-divisional champion Carl Frampton. That fight that will either close the 2020 year or kick off the beginning of 2021.
WHAT IS THE ISSUE?
The WBC champion and the former WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (28-0, 22ko) are close to finalizing a November 7 fight date. The former WBO champion immediately targeted Berchelt when he moved up into the division.
One advantage of making the fight between the WBC champion and the number one contender is both are under the legendary Top Rank banner. It is always beneficial making an in-house fight first before looking across the street.
The sentiment in boxing is a fighter should get what he has worked hard for, which is true. However, if this were spades, you would slap the table with the big joker phrase “unification tops everything”. Especially in a case like this, given how adamant Diaz makes it clear he wants that work with the divisional-rival WBC champion.
IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
Understandably, COVID-19 has put a damper on a lot of fights that should have already happened. With no fans being in the stands, it hurts the revenue stream that makes up the bulk of the fighter’s purse. Furthermore, if we do not get a unification fight soon, then possibly it will not happen until late 2021 or maybe even early 2022. It will depend on who wins the fight and a potential rematch if the WBC champion losses. Also, if the fight ends in controversy or is a financial hit, then it only makes sense to run it back. Either scenario puts a unification bout on hold for along time.
The division is in prime positioning for someone to take it over. Plus, with the addition of former WBO featherweight champion Shakur “Fearless” Stevenson, things are only going to get hotter.
By: Garrisson Bland