Hammer hooking Miguel Berchelt returns to BoxNation this weekend with a maiden defence against Japanese warlord Takashi Miura at California’s Inglewood Forum.
Glynn Evans lists why the man from Merida has the potential to parade around the P4P parish.
No biding your time to steal a vacant title against an obscure, cherry picked sacrifice for Senor Berchelt!
‘El Alacran (The Scorpion)’ was coronated following an emphatic kayo of Golden Boy’s previously unbeaten golden child Francisco ‘Bandido’ Vargas on a GBP show last January.
Berchelt had never previously ventured past round six and entered as a significant underdog at a sold out Indio, California arena for his HBO debut.
Yet he remained composed and thoroughly dominated the two time Fight of the Year winner from opening ding until the referee dispensed clemency in round 11.
Berchelt’s fists are more sleep inducing that a Stella-Strongbow snakebite!
His 88% stoppage ratio – compiled against credible competition – is among the highest in the sport for any weight category. None of his last 17 victims finished the course, and 18 of the 28 stoppages on his 31-1 ledger were executed in the opening three rounds. A potent left hook is his favoured weapon of mass destruction.
Mexican Mig only embraced the sweet science, at the advanced age of 15, in the hope of improving his fitness levels for soccer, his first love. (He played for a club in the third tier of Mexico’s professional league).
Nevertheless, he was clearly a natural, winning three senior Mexican Elite titles and racking up a 62-6 slate, before vaulting to the pros on his 19th birthday.
4. Sound All Round
It would be remiss to categorise the 25 year old as your stereotypical Mexican slugger. Berchelt is as savvy as he is savage and his ring idols, Sugar Ray Leonard and Juan Manuel Marquez were both classy, cerebral types.
His expansive list of attributes includes a stiff jab, nimble feet, a broad arsenal and an educated body attack. A high guard and tight elbows help him avert danger.
Though he is yet to master English, Berchelt is blessed with an engaging demeanour that appeals to both press and public. His wholesome persona is bolstered by regular charity assignments at local hospitals and prisons and fans responded by according him a hero’s welcome at Merida airport after he delivered the region its eighth world champion.
In business hours, he adheres to a warriors code – respectful of both the sport and his opponent . He honourably conceded that his sole reverse - a 99 second slaughter by Columbia’s Luis Eduardo Flores in March 2014 - was down to complacency. Suitably humbled, he has stopped all 10 since.
It is always helpful to have friends in high places. Though Berchelt first came to prominence as a WBO ‘interim’ champion, he was quick to ditch the Puerto Rican body to align with the World Boxing Council where he has always been highly regarded.
The Mexico based organisation listed him as their Fighter of the Year as far back as 2011 and, though he’d not fought past round six, sanctioned his challenge to fight Vargas for the green and gold belt that is so sacred to Mexicans.
On Saturday, he again features on a HBO screened, Golden Boy promotions, where he debuts at the famous Inglewood Forum that has served as a citadel for so many fabulous Hispanic ring lords before him.
Clearly Berchelt had no thoughts of easing into his reign on the WBC throne with a couple of carefully selected voluntaries. Most fighters spout the ‘anyone, anytime, anywhere’ mantra but ‘El Alacran’ might be one of the few who adheres to it.
After a brutal 11 round battle to bag the belt, Berchelt dives straight back in against iron fisted samurai warrior Takashi Miura. Another star of the GBP roster, the 33 year old Tokyo southpaw held the WBC belt for 31 months pre-Vargas and his unrelenting assaults and ‘take out’power, threaten a torrid time for anyone he crosses. Berchelt simply licks his lips.
Quality fighters need elite opposition to elevate them from good to great and Berchelt won’t need to look far.
Sharing centre stage at Inglewood on Saturday, similarly soaring WBA counterpart Jezreel Corrales defends against Robinson Castellanos, with the winners mooted to collide and unify shortly after. The brilliant Vasyl Lomachenko (WBO) and Gervonta Davis (IBF) are custodians of the other belts at 130lbs. Carl Frampton loiters menacingly in the background.
And with a 5ft 7in frame and 71in wingspan, Berchelt possesses the physical hardware to extend his menace into the lightweight division. Messrs Flanagan, Garcia, Linares and Easter would do well to monitor his progress.
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