By Ian S Palmer
WBC Super Featherweight Champion Miguel Berchelt of Mexico will be defending his belt against southpaw Maxwell Awuku of Ghana in Cancun, Mexico this Saturday, February 10th The 12-round bout can be seen live in North America on beIN Sports Espanol and fans in Mexico can see it on Azteca 7. In addition, UK fans can catch the action on BocxNation. Berchelt’s last contest took place in July when he beat Takashi Miura of Japan by a unanimous decision. He stopped Francisco Vargas in the 11th round to win the title back in January of 2017. Awuku was last in the ring in September when he beat Jonathan Yartey by a fourth-round knockout.
Berchelt is 26 years old and has an excellent record of 32-1 with 28 Kos. He turned pro back in 2010 and has 122 rounds under his belt. He stands 5-feet-7-inches tall with a reach of 71 inches. Berchelt’s record shows that he has quite a bit of power and his current knockout ratio is a very impressive 85 per cent. His lone loss was a first-round TKO at the hands of Luis Florez in 2014. Berchelt’s best wins have been against Miura, Vargas, George Jupp, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Escalante, Carlos Reyes and Cristobal Cruz.
Berchelt is a fan-friendly boxer with an exciting style who needs a bit of a break after being in against a couple of very tough customers in Vargas and Miura. He’s defending his title for the second time here as a way to keep himself busy, but can’t afford to take Awuku lightly. Berchelt was originally supposed to be meeting veteran Cristian Mijares, but that fight fell through as did the bout with Mijares’ replacement Carlo Magali. As long as Berchelt doesn’t stray off course in this fight and lets his hands go like he usually does then he should be able to take care of Awuku.
There isn’t a lot of info available on Awuku and this includes his age. What we do know is that he turned pro back in 2002, so should be in his early 30’s. Awuku has a fine record of 44-3-1 with 30 Kos, but most of his opponents have been of the local variety back in Africa. He’s fought 276 rounds as a pro with wins over the likes of…. well, nobody you’ve ever heard of to tell the truth. He appears to have pretty good power though with a current knockout ratio of 63 per cent and also has a solid chin as he’s never been stopped.
Awuku’s three losses have been when he stepped up in class against Daud Yordan, Liam Walsh and Thomas Okanja Aryeetey. His lone draw was an eight-round bout with Martin Ahiadekey back in 2003. His 2010 loss to Walsh was a unanimous decision for the British Commonwealth Title and his defeat to Yordan was for the vacant WBO African and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight belts. Awuku was al;so knocked down in the seventh round against Yordan. The African challenger is just over 5-feet-8-inches tall and has an unlisted reach, so he has a 1.5-inch height advantage on Berchelt.
Awuku has held the WBO Africa Super Featherweight Title and the WBA Pan African Super Featherweight Title, but he’s not expected to add Berchelt’s world title to his collection. Awuku shouldn’t be written off though as he might be awkward enough to give Berchelt a bit of a workout. However, look for Berchelt to keep his belt when all is said and done.