By: Hans Themistode
Former WBO featherweight world champion Oscar Valdez was well on his way to an all Mexican showdown against WBC super featherweight belt holder Miguel Berchelt.
Those plans however, went by the wayside the moment COVID-19 came knocking. The two are still on course to meet later on this year, but Valdez will first be given the opportunity to shake off the rust associated with a nine month layoff.
Super featherweight contender Jayson Velez will welcome Valdez to the ring for the first time in 2020. The two are scheduled to headline a Top Rank card at the MGM Grand Conference Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 21st.
For Velez, the spotlight has seldom, if ever, shined on his career. When he was given big time opportunities, he fumbled them away with mediocre performances. In a 2018 matchup against Ryan Garcia, Velez was blown out of the water as he lost a one sided unanimous decision. He did manage to bounce right back winning his next three straight, all before the final bell rang. But he once again found himself on the wrong end of the judges decision in his most recent ring outing against Jaime Arboleda.
In order to stop the bleeding that comes along with back to back losses, he’ll have to bite down on his mouth piece and stand up to the punching power of Valdez. But Velez won’t be the only one on the card who will have to withstand some heavy shots coming from the other side of the ring.
Middleweight prospect Edgar Berlanga will be looking to use his opponents last name as an indication as to where he wants to send him once he connects with a right hand in the co main event as he takes on Eric Moon.
Berlanga has not only won every single one of his fights inside the distance, but he has yet to see the beginning of the second round. He’ll look to make it 14 first round finishes in a row on July 21st.
The knockout streak might be impressive, but for the undefeated prospect, he isn’t letting it get to his head.
“I’ve not really changed much about training because of the knockout streak,” said Berlanga via a Top Rank press release. “Training is all about improving as a boxer. I had a good amateur career, and that comes from being a good technical boxer. My focus in training has been to continue to improve my skills under my trainer, Andre Rozier, and Team Havoc.”
The action packed card begins at 8 PM ET on ESPN on July 27th.