Espinoza: Oscar Valdez ready for glory

Top Rank and ESPN have announced that Miguel Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) vs Oscar Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) is on for February 20, and Valdez’s manager, Frank Espinoza, couldn’t be happier. “I’m excited. This is one of those fights that will cement both of these fighters’ legacy. These are two of the best and most exciting fighters on the planet,” he continued. “When they meet, it will be an incredible explosion. This is a can’t miss fight.”

The bout was originally scheduled for Dec. 12, but Berchelt came down with COVID and the fight was postponed.

Berchelt, 29, will be defending the WBC junior lightweight title. Valdez, 30, the former WBO featherweight champion, was last active on July 21 when he defeated Jayson Velez by 10th round TKO.

“We kept Oscar training. We knew this fight would eventually happen so we really prepared. Oscar spent his time in Guadalajara training with ‘Canelo’s’ trainer Eddie Reynoso,” said Espinoza. “I think keeping him active was key. He kept his training going and we expect him to be sharp and in the best shape of his career on February 20.”

Taking on Berchelt is no easy task. The Yucatán based fighter doesn’t believe in taking a backward step.

“He’s a gritty, no-nonsense fighter. He has zero quit in him and is extremely strong,” said Espinoza. “Fortunately, Eddie Reynoso is on our team and he’s dealt with these types of fighters before. Eddie has devised a special game plan for this fight. It’s going to take a lot of discipline, patience, and intelligence. These are all qualities that Oscar has and I see him beating Berchelt in what will be a fight of the year candidate.”

Reynoso has become one of boxing’s most highly sought after trainers. “He’s a great trainer and a teacher. Eddie has made some great changes in Oscar’s defense,” Espinoza said. “I like working with the best and Eddie is definitely the best trainer in the sport and a tremendous asset to our team.”

The importance of this fight doesn’t escape him.

“Every fighter eventually has that fight that will define his or her legacy. Winning this fight will bring Oscar to the next level,” said Espinoza. “This is Oscar’s time. He’s ready for the glory and its rewards.”

Espinoza also managed Israel Vazquez during his epic fight series versus Rafael Marquez. Espinoza sees the same qualities in this match up. “There are definite similarities. These are also two very exciting and dangerous fighters in their prime,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this fight is just as action-packed. These are high quality fighters with a lot of pride and extremely hungry. A lot is on the line.”

Espinoza finished. “If you’re a true boxing fan then you can’t miss this one. Forget all the other big matchups. This is the one you have to see. Oscar has a real sense of history. He wants to be a fighter that everyone will remember and talk about. And he wants that prestigious WBC belt. The green belt. This fight means everything to Oscar so expect him to leave it all in the ring.”

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  • Don’t think this one will be as close as people hope. Valdez gets battered here

    • Christian, idk man… think it may be close, but i feel ya.. Theze are two explosive fighters. I do believe Berchelt will come out victorius but i hope its a damn good fight

      • I know what you mean but the last couple time Valdez has fought he’s looked physically different from before. Berchelt looks like he’s peaking that why I think it won’t be oscars night but I agree it’d be great to see a Barrera/morales type match

        • Yup. You make a Great point and I would have to agree! The only thing Oscar has going for him is hes been training with Garcia so hes had good sparring. I guess heres to hoping for something big from both.

    • Christian, I agree! Valdez will lose big, but he’ll make it exciting for as long as it lasts. I always am skeptical of fighters who are only decent punchers moving up in weight and finding themselves in the ring with a very large version of the next step up. Berchelt is a Lightweight in waiting and Valdez might become a solid JR Lightweight. We’ll see though and I love that they made the match. I’ll gladly eat my words if he wins, because no matter what this should be a fun fight!

  • This is a tough fight to call. My head says Berchelt – my heart says Oscar. Berchelt is tough as nails and has a punch. He just seems more solid and well rounded boxer. Hope Oscar gives it his all till the end of twelve rounds.

  • I’m not in oscar’s head but I kind of see like he has a little bit of doubt. At least, it’s what I saw in his previous two fights and post fight interviews. But, I’ll eat my words if I’m wrong.

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