Traya gets shot at WBC international title

Fighting cop wins VisProBA featherweight belt
SunStar Boxing

ELMO Traya finally earned the biggest fight of his pro career as he takes on former world champion Miguel Berchelt in a World Boxing Council (WBC) International light belt on July 27 at the Palenque in Tlaxcala, Mexico.

“This is my dream, to fight a top-level opponent like him. Now, it’s becoming a reality,” the 29-year-old Traya told SunStar Cebu. “I think I can beat him. His style is tailor-made for my style. That’s why I believe I have a huge chance of winning my upcoming fight.”

Traya had a two-year layoff from 2020 to 2022. In his return, he lost to Thai Phoobadin Yoohanngoh by a second-round knockout in Thailan. He also lost next fight, the following year, to Abdul Azizi Ssebulime by unanimous decision in Dubai.

Traya bounced back with a split decision win over Chinese Wei Wei Liu by split decision in Consolacion, Cebu, also last year.

Traya switched handlers and is now at the Highland Boxing Gym in Benguet. He’s been sparring with the likes of fellow former ALA Boy Albert Pagara, prospect MJ Uduna and journeyman Reymond Yanong.

He’ll finish off his training camp at the Highland Gym Thailand, owned by his manager Brico Santig.

“I’ve prepared really well for this fight. I’ve been training for five months,” said Traya, a native of Tabuelan, Cebu. “Next week, I’ll be going to Thailand and train there.”

The 32-year-old Berchelt was once considered one of the best Mexican fighters. He had a long reign as WBC super featherweight champion from 2017 to 2021.

Bechelt won the WBC super featherweight strap with an 11th round knockout of fellow Mexican Francisco Vargas in 2017 in Indio, California. He had six succesful title defense before losing his belt by a 10th round knockout in the hands of Oscar Valdez in 2021 in Las Vegas.

Berchelt won his last fight, a second-round stoppage of Diego Alberto Ruiz in Mexico last year.

Berchelt packs a huge punch with an 89.74 percent knockout rating. He, however, has a suspect chin and was stopped in all three of his losses.

Traya is 13-5 with eight knockouts, while Berchelt is 39-3 with 35 knockouts. / EKA

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