Valdez motivated by Chavez’s Berchelt pick

Oscar Valdez says he will defy the odds and the prediction of his idol Julio Cesar Chavez to dethrone WBC super-featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt when the Mexican duo meet in a widely predicted war at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, on February 20.

Three-weight champion Chavez is almost universally regarded as Mexico’s greatest ever fighter in the country’s rich boxing history. Like many seasoned observers, Chavez has sided with 1/3 favourite Berchelt (38-1, 34 KOs) who has stopped 16 of his last 17 opponents as he has matured into world class.

But WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) has yet to taste defeat as a professional and says Chavez’s pick has only given him an added incentive. The hotly anticipated clash was originally scheduled for December before Berchelt withdrew after contracting Covid-19.

“I have listened to my great idol Julio Cesar Chavez, who says Berchelt is going to win. That motivates me, there is nothing more beautiful in life than when you stay quiet and let your fists speak for themselves,” Valdez told journalist Jose Luis Camarillo.

“Adversity turns into the opposite, I visualiae myself in the future talking to young people, to the children that I have inspired, explaining that I was crowned [champion] during a pandemic, that I went to parks in order to train. We are living in very strange times. It would be a good way to visualise a movie in my future.

“What happened [the previous fight postponement] is a message, I know that things happen for a reason, it is my way of thinking. I never let a bad comment affect me, I always try to make sure everything is fine in my camp, I stay positive – that’s what wins the fights, to have a good atmosphere, arrive well prepared physically, but even more so mentally. Losing is not an option!

“I train with the same intensity, but smarter, more focused, more disciplined. I finish training and arrive home directly to rest. If you gave 100 percent, you end up very tired, you only get to eat and sleep, there is no energy for anything else. We are training very hard, I want to shut mouths. I want to fulfil my dream of continuing to win, to be on that list of great boxers in history.”