Big-punching WBC junior lightweight titleholder Miguel Berchelt will make his fourth defense against bitter rival Miguel Roman at the Don Haskins Convention Center in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday.
Berchelt, who is rated No. 1 by The Ring at 130 pounds, and Roman, who is rated No. 6, will meet in an eagerly anticipated encounter that figures to be crowd pleasing.
“I am happy and ready to fight,” Berchelt told The Ring. “It is a fight I was looking forward to. He is a warrior in the ring who always goes forward and has a lot of experience, but I am definitely better than him in all ways.”
However, despite the professional respect, there is long-standing enmity between these two proud Mexican fighters.
“He started to talk bullshit, saying I was afraid to fight him,” said an impassioned Berchelt. “Afraid of fight him? Give me a break. I retired [Takashi] Miura who almost killed him.
“After my mandatory fight with Miura in L.A., and once I recovered from my hand injury, I wanted to defend my title in my two hometowns, Cancun and Merida, before returning to the U.S.A. to fight my mandatory against Roman.
“I am the world champion, the best and most powerful 130-pounder in the world, and that little mouse is on Mexican TV saying that I was afraid to fight him. That really annoys me and he is really going to pay for that on November 3.”
Roman (60-12, 47 knockouts) is on a four-fight win streak since losing to Miura in January 2017. In previous world title bouts, the 32-year-old puncher has come up short against Jonathan Barros – who lost to Berchelt earlier this year – and Antonio De Marco. He earned this third world title opportunity by surprising Orlando Salido late last year.
To prepare himself, Berchelt (34-1, 30 KOs), as usual, has trained in Hermosillo under the watchful eye of Alfredo Caballero, who also trains former titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada. The 26-year-old champion has been in the north west of Mexico for three months and has apparently been rough on the hired help.
“I feel I am a stronger and better fighter, fight after fight,” Berchelt said. “The sparring sessions have been very competitive. I apologize to my sparring partners when I hit them too hard, they are great kids and part of the team.”
Mario Abraham, President of Maxboxing Promotions, who co-promote Berchelt with Zanfer Promotions, believes his fighter could go on to be one of his countries most celebrated champions.
“We are very happy to be with Top Rank and ESPN for this fight,” said Abraham. “It is a great opportunity for Miguel to show all the boxing fans that he is on the way to becoming one of the great Mexican champions.”
Berchelt isn’t getting carried away by that lofty goal; he’s simply taking it one step at a time.
“I am ready to fight anyone at 130, [Alberto] Machado, [WBA titleholder] Gervonta [Davis] . . . anyone,” said Berchelt. “After I clean out the division I will move to 135.”
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