Oscar Valdez Talks Gutierrez, Health and Berchelt
Former WBO world featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (26-0, 20 KO’s) has his mind set on a second world title. Standing in his way is Andres “Jaguarcito” Gutierrez (38-2-1, 25 KO’s). Their November 30 collision at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will air live on ESPN+.
LOCKED ON THE CURRENT TARGET
It is true that Valdez’s primary concern is obtaining another championship title. It is also true that Gutierrez, who ranks 5th with the WBC, does not possess one. This does not mean that Valdez is taking him lightly. In all actuality, the former WBO champion is placing all his attention on Jaguarcito. Valdez realizes that not only must he conquer his next foe, he needs to do it in style.
While Gutierrez does not have the biggest name in town, he is no one’s pushover. Out of 41 trips to the ring, he has only lost twice. The pair of defeats came at the hands of known talents Abner Mares and Cristian Mijares. Taking this into account, Valdez has every intention on training as if this fight is for a world title.
“Andres Gutierrez is a tough fighter, I’ve seen him fight before. I’ve said this before, a lot of fighters who don’t have that big name, people might think it’s an easy fight, which I don’t see it that way. I think it’s a tough fight, plus I see no fight lightly. No fight for me will ever be lightly…
He knows what he’s doing, he knows he’s a strong fighter. Plus he knows if he beats me he has a shot to fight for a world title. I know he wants a shot at a world title, but I don’t think he wants it as much as I do.”
TESTING NEW WATERS
The Gutierrez prizefight will mark Valdez’s first foray into the super featherweight division in four years. From 2013 to 2015, the Mexican pugilist ping-ponged back and forth between the feather and super featherweight. Then in 2016 he settled into the featherweight division for seven straight bouts. Now, due to health reasons, Valdez is choosing to move up in weight.
Since he does not live under a rock, Valdez is acutely aware of all the tragedy and death that has befallen the sport of boxing this year. Bearing this in mind, as well as his own struggles to make 126, Team Valdez thought it a prudent idea to jump up a notch. Even though, we have yet to arrive to fight night, Valdez insists that he can feel the benefits already.
“Most importantly I feel healthy, to make 126lbs I know I wasn’t healthy. And now, I still have to cut weight. It doesn’t mean that I’m eating a lot, I still have to watch what I eat, I have to cut down, have a plant based diet and just cut down. But I do feel energetic…I think it’s the healthier thing to do and safer thing to do because this has been a rough year for boxing. I’ve said it before that we have a lot of fighters that have passed away, a lot of fighters that have been in comas.
I think a lot of that is due to dehydration, cutting down weight so fast and not doing it proper. Even though boxing for me is my life, boxing is my hobby my passion, its’ what I love doing. After every fight, I still want to come home to my family.”
DAY DREAMING OF FUTURE GLORY
On the one hand, Oscar is not overlooking Jaguarcito. Yet at the same time, he is confident that he will overcome him. Provided that happens, the former featherweight champion will set his attention upon WBC world super featherweight champion Miguel “El Alacran” Berchelt (37-1, 33 KO’s).
At the moment, Oscar Valdez is #1 in the WBC super featherweight rankings. So seeking to obtain this fight is no outlandish notion. If Berchelt v Valdez is put together, it will only happen if the two fighters put their mutual friendship to the side.
It has been well documented that the Mexican boxers are very chummy with one another outside of the ring. To continue on his quest for another title, Valdez is more than ready to suspend their camaraderie for one violent evening.
“Berchelt, I have nothing but respect for him. He is a champion inside the ring and outside the ring. He’s a great guy, but that’s the reason that I want to fight him because he holds that belt. I’ve said it plenty of times, it’s nothing personal it’s just I want to prove who is the best. You’re the best or I’m the best, but I’m daydreaming. I’m thinking about Berchelt, for that to happen I have to eliminate Gutierrez.”
By: Bakari Simpson