Miguel Berchelt confident of taking down Jonathan Victor Barros, eager for Miguel Roman clash
Mexico’s Miguel Berchelt will make a homecoming defense of his WBC junior lightweight title against former WBA featherweight titlist Jonathan Victor Barros at the Polyforum Zam Na in Merida on Saturday.
Berchelt, who is rated No. 1 by THE RING at 130 pounds, won the title in January 2017 with an eye-catching stoppage over countryman Francisco Vargas. He followed that with an equally impressive performance, outboxing former champion Takashi Miura over 12 rounds, before stopping late substitute Maxwell Awuku in three.
The 26-year-old power-puncher is now eager to showcase his skills in front of his home fans but appreciates that Barros won’t be an easy opponent.
“I am very excited to fight in Mérida, my second home, where I have made most of my career and where I have my own house,” Berchelt told THE RING through promoter Mario Abraham. “I can’t wait to fight in front of my fans that have always supported me since I came to live at this great and beautiful city.
“(Barros) is a good fighter with a lot of experience. He has fought against great fighters such as Yuriorkis Gamboa, Mikey Garcia, [Lee] Selby and also beat my mandatory challenger, Miguel Roman. But I am very confident. I am a better boxer, fight after fight, and I made a great training camp.”
After beating Awuku in February, “El Alacran” (The Scorpion) enjoyed some down time between Cancun and Merida before decamping north to Sonora where he has trained under the watchful eye of Alfredo Caballero for three months.
Things have been kept on an even keel, which is a far cry from Berchelt’s previous training camp. The undistinguished Awaku replaced Carlo Magali, who replaced Cristian Mijares and the defending titleholder was left extremely disappointed. Mijares had to be replaced due to promotional issues.
“I was upset when Mijares pulled out the fight but I am used to this since I was a four-round fighter,” Berchelt said. “Even Rocky Martinez declined to face me 10 days before a world title fight.”
[Editor’s Note: Martinez had been due to defend his title against Berchelt in Mexico in March 2016. He pulled out through injury, but fought Vasyl Lomachenko in the June, much to Team Berchelt’s chagrin.]
Mario Abraham, President of Maxboxing Promotions, who co-promote Berchelt with Zanfer Promotions, spoke highly of his fighter.
“He is a very professional and dedicated kid,” said the promoter. “He wants to be one of the great Mexican champions.”
Both Berchelt and Abraham are on board with facing their mandatory challenger, Miguel Roman, next if they turn back the challenge of Barros.
“He is my mandatory challenger and is the next fight I want,” Berchelt said. “He has been talking a lot of bullshit and he will pay for this in the ring.”
Abraham expects the bout to take place north of the border in the fall.
“If everything goes well in this fight, we expect to come back to U.S.A. in autumn,” said Abraham. “We will start negotiating with (Team Roman) just after June 23.”