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Miguel Berchelt looking for title opponent

Junior lightweight world titlist Miguel Berchelt will still defend his belt on Feb. 10 at the Oasis Arena in his hometown of Cancun, Mexico, but he will not face Cristian Mijares as originally scheduled.

Berchelt has no new opponent yet, but he attended a news conference on Wednesday to discuss the situation.

Miguel Berchelt, left, is looking for a new opponent for his Feb. 10 title defense. Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
"I'm confident that the fans are going to have the show that they deserve -- a world championship fight and, unfortunately, it will not be against Cristian Mijares, who withdrew at the last minute," Berchelt said. "But we are working to get a worthy opponent and give them a great fight."

The 36-year-old Mijares (58-8-2, 26 KOs), a former two-time junior bantamweight world titleholder, also from Mexico, was pulled from the fight after some unspecified issues with the contract arose between the promoters. Berchelt promoter Zanfer Promotions opted to find a new opponent.

Mijares had won nine fights in a row following a lopsided decision loss to Leo Santa Cruz in a challenge for a junior featherweight world title in 2014. Mijares moved up to junior lightweight in 2017 and had won three fights in a row in the division before agreeing to face Berchelt.

Berchelt (32-1, 28 KOs), 26, will defend his 130-pound world title for the second time. He won the belt by 11th-round knockout of Francisco Vargas in January 2017 and retained it by lopsided decision over former titlist Takashi Miura in July.

Berchelt said he was taking the change of opponent in stride, even though he was preparing for a left-handed opponent in Mijares and his new opponent probably will be right-handed, the far more common stance.

"I have to change the preparation a bit because Mijares is left-handed. Right now I do not know who they will put in front of me, but I know that the preparation I did with [trainer] Alfredo Caballero will help me to beat anyone," said Berchelt, adding that after the upcoming defense he would be interested in a unification bout against pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko.

Author: Dan Rafael, ESPN
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