Miguel Berchelt takes on Jeremiah Nakathila in long-awaited comeback bout
Former WBC junior lightweight titleholder Miguel Berchelt is ready to return to action 13-months after being brutally knocked out by Oscar Valdez.
Berchelt, who made six successful defenses of the WBC 130-pound title over a four-year period, is moving up to the talent-laden lightweight division and will face Jeremiah Nakathila at The Resorts World Event Center, Las Vegas on Saturday.
“I am feeling very well, very happy to come back to the ring,” Berchelt (38-2, 34 knockouts) told The Ring through his promoter Mario Abraham.
“I needed a long rest to recover after fibrosis from the COVID. I wasn’t the same after COVID and it was clear in my last fight.”
Despite the loss and time off the 30-year-old power-puncher is taking the Nakathila fight in his stride.
“Every fight is different, boxing is about styles,” he explained. “I have to be prepared for everything that can happen in the ring.”
The Valdez defeat prompted Berchelt to make several changes to his team and surroundings.
“I moved to Las Vegas; I changed my coach and I hired a physical trainer,” he said. “I have been in Las Vegas for 5 months training for my comeback fight with my new coach Jorge Capetillo.”
Berchelt is ready to throw get into the name in the mix at 135-pounds.
“Obviously, I want to fight against the champions and become again a world champion,” he said. “I want to climb fast in the ranking and have the opportunity against a champion.”
Abraham, the president of MAX Boxing Promotions, co-promotes Berchelt with Zanfer Promotions also feels his fighter is ready to make a splash in the lightweight division.
“Miguel is in great shape – fast and explosive,” said Abraham. “It is very important for us to see him fight after 13 months. There are a lot of good fights at lightweight, even before the champions like [Masayoshi] Nakatani, [Richard] Commey, Jojo Diaz, [Jamel] Herring, Ryan Garcia, even [Vasiliy] Lomachenko. We hope for a good performance on March 26 and see who’s next.”
Nakathila turned professional in 2013. The Namibian won his first 11 fights before losing to Evgeny Chuprakov (MD 12) in Russia. He rebounded with 10 wins, collecting a WBO regional title, which helped earn the 32-year-old a fight with rising star Shakur Stevenson. It proved a bridge too far, and he was widely outpointed. Nakathila’s record stands at (22-2, 18 KOs).
Berchelt-Nakathila, plus supporting undercard action, will be broadcast on ESPN at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.