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Oscar Valdez focused on Miguel Berchelt fight, talks Shakur Stevenson and Leo Santa Cruz

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Former WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez 27-0 (21) is targeting a shot at WBC super featherweight world champion Miguel ‘El Alacran’ Berchelt 37-1 (33) in an all-Mexican showdown when boxing resumes following the global coronavirus pandemic.

Valdez moved up in weight last November, rising from a second-round knockdown to knock out last-minute replacement Adam Lopez in seven rounds.

“We only have one fighter in mind right now, which is ‘El Alacran’ Berchelt because I’m the mandatory fighter,” Valdez said.

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“It’s a mandatory fight, and there were rumours it was going to be May 9. I was already back in training camp in San Diego for May 9, but then we got the news that [May 9] was Jose Ramirez and Viktor Postol. We just continued training. It wasn’t going to hurt us to remain in camp.

“The fight hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s a mandatory fight. The fight has to happen. I think, on our side, we’re ready to sign the contract because I’m going for my dream.

“I want that belt. We want to make it official, and I was already training for that fight. Right now, we just gotta train back home. It is what it is.

“I think Berchelt is the toughest fighter in that division. That’s why we’re going after him. We want to go for everything.”

Valdez, 29, says he would welcome the opportunity to fight rising star Shakur Stevenson if he gets past Berchelt.

“Of course I would love that fight, especially now,” he said. “There’s a lot of people, including him, who think I’m avoiding that fight. I’m not. I’m chasing my dream to become a world champion [at super featherweight].

“I want to fight for the world title with ‘El Alacran’ Berchelt. ‘El Alacran’ Berchelt is a tougher opponent than him. No offense to Shakur. Shakur is a great fighter. He’ll be up there. We’ll have to fight sooner or later. If he goes up to 130, I’ll gladly fight him.”

Another name Valdez would like to see across the ring from him is WBA super featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz 37-1-1 (19).

“We’ve been wanting to fight Leo Santa Cruz for a long time, but due to the politics of boxing, him being with PBC and other promotional companies, I think that’s the main reason why these fights don’t happen,” he said.

“That’s why I’m so excited right now that I get the chance to fight somebody like ‘El Alacran’ Berchelt because this is a big name. He has a title belt. If the fight happens with Santa Cruz eventually, I would love it because his style and my style would definitely be a fan-pleasing fight.”

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