This weekend there is a Mexican war in Las Vegas boxing: Miguel “Alacrán” Berchelt vs Oscar Valdez. Yes, of course it is a match between two high-level Aztec fighters, and also, both are trained by Mexicans.
But beyond the specific issue of the clash between Berchelt Y Valdez, or from Reynoso against gentleman, the fascination this fight has aroused comes from elsewhere.
I am from Puerto Rico, and a fight between Mexicans generates me exceptive, attractive, interest. And it is very rare that a fight between two fighters from the same country generates so much interest worldwide among boxing fans.
Only two countries that generate something like this come to mind: the United States and Mexico. Perhaps, in this equation you can strain one or another combat between Japanese in small weights, but not that much.
In fights between Americans we can mention several classics. However, most focus on the 1980s, and especially heavyweight.
But more recently, in boxing in the last two decades, there have been several fights between Mexicans that have increased world interest. And not only that, but the rematches cause the same interest as the first.
One of those battles of the past between Mexicans that caught the attention of the world was the famous “Battle of the Zetas.” In that duel, they faced Carlos Zarate, who at that time had an incredible record of 45-0 and 44 knockouts, against Alfonso Zamora, who was not far behind and had a perfect record of 29-0, and 29 knockouts. In other words, combined, they had a 74-0 record, with 73 knockouts. The punching power of both generated enormous expectations. And yes, of course, the “Battle of the Zetas” ended by knockout in the fourth round in favor of Zarate.
Already in the most modern boxing it is impossible to ignore the fierce duels between Erik “Terrible” Morales Y Marco Antonio Barrera, Israel Vazquez against Rafael Marquez and we could even mention that of Jose Luis Castillo against Diego “Chico” Corrales, that if the mind does not betray me, I was of Mexican descent. Each fight of these rivalries was so emotional and fierce, that it demanded a second fight, a third, or even a fourth. In total, these rivalries, added 9 fights.
Over time, and from the 20s and 30s, Mexican boxing built a registered trademark, a denomination of origin, where it is synonymous with courage, heart and bravery.
There, the predominant style is to throw a lot of punches, not necessarily to have a great defense. You have to have a great jaw and a tormenting ability to absorb blows. But, above all, there is having EGGS.
And yes, there may be some good hybrid Mexican fighters from time to time, the kind who know how to fight backwards as well as they do forwards, and who also have a keen sense of backlash. In particular, in recent years, in this category have emerged fighters such as Canelo Alvarez or Juan Manuel Marquez. And the truth is that even them, the hybrids, are called by the DNA of the Aztec warrior, and they engaged in wars like those of Marquez against Pacquiao or the revenge between Canelo Y Golovkin.
According ESPN, the fight between Berchelt Y Valdez It will be the 154th world title fight between Mexican fighters. Of them, 73 have gone to the decision; 80 have ended by knockout; 4 have been technical decisions, and 1 draw.
Anyway, almost always when two Mexicans fight, that’s a fighter at the table. And there is no country that has given us more emotions in the last three decades of boxing.
LONG LIVE MEXICO, YOU CABRONES!
*The author, DAMIÁN FERRER, is The Boxing Philosopher, and you can follow him on his Facebook page.