Boxe : The month of mandatory fights

Saturday’s fight caused great expectations and to a large extent it is one more success to a WBC rule

It is impossible not to start this column talking about the spectacular encounter between two warriors of the ring, two Mexicans who put boxing at the top before, during and after their fight this Saturday the 20th in Las Vegas.

Óscar Valdez knocked out the now ex-monarch Miguel Berchelt in a dramatic and withering way. Valdez is now a super featherweight world champion of the World Boxing Council; something that, repeatedly, he has expressed as his dream since childhood.

In a very difficult sport, there are cases that complicate things even more, since we are talking about two friends facing each other in the ring. The two are part of the Ring Telmex-Telcel team, since their beginnings in boxing; they are companions and have celebrated successes together, until fate led them to meet for the WBC world championship.

Valdez represented Mexico in two Olympic Games and from there he jumped to professionalism; he became a WBO featherweight champion, until he made the leap to super featherweight. He fought and won a final elimination against Adam Lopez, thus taking the right to fight against the world champion of the division.

Berchelt, for his part, won the title in January 2017, knocking out the great former world champion, Mexican Francisco Vargas. In these four years as monarch he defended his crown six times, and was considered one of the most solid world champions of the moment.

Promoter Top Rank had great vision and was preparing this fight for years, and everything was formalized when Valdez became the mandatory challenger. The fight was scheduled for 2020, but a positive for COVID-19 from Berchelt delayed the fight.

This fight caused great expectations, because it is guaranteed to see great fights when two Mexicans face each other in the ring. Countless notes highlighted the historical battles between Mexicans and social networks were flooded with lists that compared this fight with historical combats such as: Morales vs. Barrier. who fought three times; Zarate vs. Zamora; Marquez vs. Barrier; Israel Vazquez vs. Rafael Márquez, who fought four times, and many more.

Precisely 21 years of the first fight between Érik Terrible Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera were celebrated, a fight that took place on February 19, 2000, and 28 years of that historic full of the Azteca Stadium, when Julio César Chávez knocked out Greg in five rounds Haugen, who holds the Guinness record for the highest paid ticket attendance.

This fight was no exception; Valdez dominated, hurt and ended up knocking out Berchelt, but Berchelt was brave and dangerous until the last moment.

A passage that will remain to be remembered was the incredible display of humility and brotherhood between the two. Óscar Valdez knelt before Berchelt to acknowledge his greatness, and both exchanged very emotional words; It was then that the courier went from one great champion to another. Congratulations Óscar Valdez, your dream has come true; Cheer up Berchelt, you’ll be back.

Eddy Reynoso is going through a great time in his career. He recently won his recognition as the coach of the year 2020, as he managed to crown three world champions, and just entering this 2021 he has made Óscar Valdez triumph. Congratulations Eddy, and as your famous motto says: “No Boxing, No Life”.

The WBC introduced a very important rule for boxing: “The mandatory challenger”; it is also called official challenger or mandatory challenger. Before the WBC it did not exist and the champions could defend their title with whoever they chose, and it happened that many great prospects did not receive the opportunity to fight for the title, even being classified as number one in the division, because they were simply ignored for their dangerousness .

An example is Mantequilla Napoles, who was ranked number one in the world for six long years, without receiving the opportunity; yet another was Archie Moore.

The Council introduced the rule in the early 1970s, and it has been the formula for many of the great champions to be crowned. The monarch in turn has the obligation to face the official challenger every 12 months. When the fight is ordered, 30 days are given for free negotiations and if there is no agreement, an auction is held in which all promoters can participate, and whoever bids the highest amount gets the rights to promote said function.

This Saturday, in Miami, two more mandatory fights will take place. The world flyweight monarch: Mexican Julio César Rey Martínez will face Puerto Rican McWilliams Arroyo, and the great champion Saúl Canelo Álvarez will make his mandatory defense against Turkish Avni Yildirim.


George Foreman was official challenger of Joe frazier; Sugar Ray Leonard of Wilfredo Benitez; Duran of Leonard; From the pot of Chavez; Little girl Gonzalez from korean read; Erik morales of Saragossa; Floyd mayweather of From the pot Y Tyson fury of Deontay Wilder, just to mention a few examples. Oscar Valdez was crowned as official challenger of Miguel Berchelt.

Today’s anecdote

The world super featherweight championship was vacant, as El Macho Camacho decided to move up to lightweight. The number one ranked was Mario Azabache Martinez and a fight for this title had to be ordered.

One day there was a meeting between the late coach, Ramon Felix, and my dad. Felix he had a young man with him; a shy boxer who wore a torn white shirt, as well as the ones that are in fashion now, but this one had a real tear, as he was a very humble young man. Mr Ramon He approached my dad, rubbed his belly like a Buddha and said: “Mr Jose, give us the opportunity, this boy is going to be a great world champion “…

Mr Jose I had already seen him fight in a war that took place on a Don billboard King in Los Angeles and he liked me a lot… “Look, my dear RamonI am going to ask the governing board for a vote, since your fighter is classified as number six, but I am going to try to get it approved, to order the fight against Azabache for the vacant championship ”.

The vote was approved and on September 13, 1984, Julio Cesar Chavez knocked out the wide favorite in eight rounds, becoming the new WBC super featherweight world champion; the same championship as this Saturday Oscar Valdez conquered before Miguel Berchelt.

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