Presser Notes and Photos: Berchelt and Valdez Pumped for All-Mexican Showdown

LAS VEGAS — The Battle for Mexico is almost here. WBC super featherweight world champion Miguel Berchelt and former featherweight world champion Oscar Valdez shared the stage Thursday two days before one of the most highly anticipated all-Mexican showdowns in boxing history.

Berchelt is seeking his seventh successful title defense, while Valdez hopes to fulfill a lifelong dream of capturing a WBC world title. After fits and starts, including Berchelt’s COVID-19 diagnosis last year, the fight is finally happening. 

Berchelt-Valdez and a junior lightweight showdown between Gabriel Flores Jr. and Jayson Velez will air live Saturday on ESPN and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET. 

At Thursday’s final press conference, this is what Berchelt, Valdez, Flores and Velez had to say.

Miguel Berchelt

“I’m very happy to be here. I’ve been following Oscar since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, since that was an opportunity I wanted for myself. I respect him. We know the quality of the opponent we have in front of us, but I’m here to get the win and {retain} my title.”

“Styles make fight, and I believe my style and Oscar’s style will make for a great fight, so we’ll see what happens.”

“I want to tell my fans not to miss this fight. This is going to be a great fight. I know what it’s taken me to get this title, and I’m sure I will defend this title successfully again.”

Oscar Valdez

“This is a difficult fight. There’s a reason he’s holding that belt. He’s a great champion inside the ring and outside the ring. Nothing personal, but I want that belt. It’s a dream I’ve had ever since I was 8 years old, 9 years old. My idols have held it: Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera. They all held this belt, and that is something I’ve wanted to hold since I was a kid. This is my opportunity.”

“Everywhere I go in Mexico, I get asked that question: ‘When are you and Berchelt going to fight?’ It would be an honor for me to show them a great fight with a warrior like Miguel Berchelt.”

“This is my opportunity. I’m not going to go in there and not give it my all. I’m going to do whatever it takes. If I have to box, I’ll box. If I have to bang it and brawl it out, then I’m willing to do that, too.”

Gabriel Flores Jr.

“The hard work is paying off. My team is working. We’re going to put that on display Saturday night.”

“Saturday night, I’m going to take control of the fight. I’m going to be in there, and I just can’t to be in the moment and show you guys that I’m ready for a world title shot.”

“Jayson Velez has fought some contenders and good people. He’s the best on paper, but my job Saturday night is to make him not look like my best opponent thus far.”

Jayson Velez

“{Flores} has the skills. He has the talent. This is what I need to prove I can be at the top level. I like to bring action to the fans. This is going to be one of the great fights.”

“He is a technical fighter. He has skills, but sometimes he stops to fight. He’s a very complete fighter, and I like that because some time in the fight he will have to stop {and fight}. And that’s what I want. That’s what I like, and that’s what people like. I expect him to use his skills for a few rounds. Eventually, we will bring the action to the fans.”

FIGHT WEEK SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, February 19, 2021Official Weigh-In
5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT
LIVE on ESPN2

Max on Boxing
5:30 p.m ET/2:30 p.m. PT
ESPN2
ESPN’s boxing series, hosted by Max Kellerman, will air immediately following the weigh-in and include interviews with Berchelt and Valdez.

SATURDAY, February 20, 2021

ESPN & ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

Miguel Berchelt vs. Oscar Valdez, 12 rounds, WBC Super Featherweight World Title

Gabriel Flores Jr. vs.. Jayson Velez, 10 rounds, junior lightweight

ESPN+, 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT

Esquiva Falcao vs. Artur Akavov, 10 rounds, middleweight

Elvis Rodriguez vs. Luis Alberto Veron, 8/6 rounds, junior welterweight

Bryan Lua vs. Frevian Gonzalez, 6 rounds, junior lightweight

Xander Zayas vs. James Martin, 6 rounds, welterweight 

Sonny Conto vs. Waldo Cortes, 4 rounds, heavyweight 

Javier Martinez vs. Billy Wagner, 4 rounds, middleweight

Omar Rosario vs. Uriel Villanueva, 4 rounds, jr. welterweight

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