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Oscar Valdez KOs Miguel Berchelt in a Torrid Mexican Battle

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  • Oscar Valdez KOs Miguel Berchelt in a Torrid Mexican Battle

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    By David A. Avila

    A battle between Mexican warriors saw Oscar Valdez prove that hunger can be a powerful weapon as he out-boxed and then knocked out Miguel Berchelt to win the WBC super featherweight world title on Saturday.

    Once again, a big underdog was the winner.

    “Nothing better in life than proving people wrong,” said Valdez.

    Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs) needed no fanfare or fans at the MGM Bubble in Las Vegas to prove that, underdog or not, he could dethrone Berchelt (37-2, 33 KOs) and did to the shocking surprise of many.

    Berchelt was the physically bigger fighter and the big favorite to defend the world title for a seventh time and move a notch closer to Julio Cesar Chavez’s record of nine super featherweight title defenses. Even Chavez predicted Berchelt would be successful.

    Not caring what the public or experts said, Valdez worked for more than a year preparing for this showdown. Hungry to prove to Mexico and the rest of the boxing world that he was capable was a tremendous motivator.

    Valdez, a former featherweight world titlist, decided to move up and targeted the baddest of all the belt-holders in Berchelt.

    “Every time I would see him, I would say I think I can beat him,” said Valdez who formerly held the WBO featherweight title. “I don’t want to be 60, 70 years in life and say I think I could have done it.”

    Though Berchelt was considered the bigger man and the far more powerful puncher, Valdez walked into the boxing ring intending to show he could remain focused and use his boxing abilities to out-point the champion.

    Right from the start he set the pace.

    Sharp jabs from Valdez and providing angles kept the fight at a measured distance and kept Berchelt from loading up. It was a well-executed plan, but could he maintain it against the intense pressure of Berchelt?

    “I stayed focused,” Valdez said. “There was times I wanted to stay in and bang it.”

    A crisp left hook from Valdez to the always advancing Berchelt shook the champion in the fourth round and for the first time in the fight, he looked vulnerable as his legs quivered. Valdez went into attack mode and unloaded a four-punch combination that wobbled Berchelt. He used the ropes to maintain his footing and the referee wisely ruled it a knockdown and gave Berchelt the count. The fight resumed and Berchelt survived. Barely.

    Remarkably Berchelt survived the ensuing attack by Valdez who tried to land the left hook again and again. But Berchelt was prepared for the onslaught and tried to land a few big blows of his own.

    Berchelt mounted a rally of his own in the fifth round and connected with power shots of his own. He increased the pressure on Valdez and suddenly the fight seemed to change momentum.

    Seeking to regain momentum, Valdez returned to using the jab as his primary weapon and suddenly he was back in charge. Berchelt stopped charging after Valdez and became hesitant. That pause provided all the space needed for Valdez.

    Valdez used space and pot shots to prevent Berchelt from mounting an attack. And when Valdez unloaded a four-punch combination in the ninth round, down went Berchelt for the count. It was the second time Berchelt needed an eight count. He was able to survive the round but looked physically beat up.

    Berchelt walked out for the 10th round with a defeated look never seen before. Valdez landed single blows to the head with rights and lefts. And when Berchelt tried to retaliate with a combination of his own, Valdez slipped under three blows and countered with a thudding left hook that knocked out Berchelt before he hit the floor.

    Referee Russell Mora waved the fight over at 2:59 of the 10th round to give the win and the WBC super featherweight title to Valdez.

    “They said Miguel Berchelt was going to knock me out,” said a euphoric Valdez after the win. “You stay disciplined and anything is possible.”

    Other Bouts

    Gabriel Flores Jr. (20-0, 7 KOs) answered some question of whether or not he has power by stopping Puerto Rico’s tough Jayson Velez (29-8-1) in the sixth round of their lightweight fight.

    Flores, who is a native of Stockton, California, proved he indeed has knockout power by flooring Velez in the sixth round with a left hook to the temple. Though the Puerto Rican beat the count and valiantly tried to rally, he was met with another left hook and down he went for good at 1:47 of the sixth round.

    “I’m ready for a world title,” said Flores. “He didn’t see the punch coming. That’s why I hurt him.”

    Brazil’s Esquiva Falcao (28-0, 20 KOs) knocked out Russia’s Artur Akavov (20-4) in the fourth round of their middleweight fight.

    Dominican super lightweight prospect Elvis Rodriguez (11-0-1) defeated Luis Veron (18-3-2) by unanimous decision after eight rounds. It was the first time Rodriguez was forced to win by decision.

    Xander Zayas (7-0) won by decision after six rounds versus James Martin (6-2) in a welterweight fight.

    Photo credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Not a fan of fan-less boxing, especially fan-less KO of the Year candidates where a horrifically splattered opponent and his pumped up conqueror play their respective roles in the midst of dead silence, a phony concern for safety, and inappropriate hyperbole from the announcers. Such savagery in an empty room, for no real reason at all, paints boxing in a terribly awkward and antiseptic light. Bring back the fight fans ASAP!


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      That's a great post KO. That's how fighters are killed in the ring.
      Last edited by Kid Blast; 02-21-2021, 12:02 PM.

  • #3
    I’m gettin sick of looking at it. It’s so fake. 👎

    Fights in the U.K. look like trench warfare outtakes. Might as well arm those guys with oversized spatulas so they can scrape up fallen fighters without having to risk touching them or humanizing them. Thus whenever I see an American referee’s full face in an American ring breathing still free American air and administrating his enormous responsibilities free of needless restrictions to his breathing and to his senses, I think, OK, there’s hope.


    • #4
      And you’re right, needlessly (negligently!) distracted officials, particularly masked up referees, put fighter’s lives at risk. Yes indeed. When I see a referee more concerned with covering his nose constantly throughout a fight, and fidgeting with his phony apparatus, I know that somebody somewhere doesn’t give two stinkin shits about fighters safety. What’s it gonna take?


      • #5
        Great fight it lived up to all the hype and the right guy won, I had Valdez winning but not in this way still turned out better then I had hoped. Was a great weekend of fight cards lot of solid fights. Showtime come on man, I know they are moving to MMA or whatever but to pull out with this Saturday Night Fight Card and what they put up three days before. I think they used to put on some decent fights years ago now I wonder if they even care about boxing. Also on Berchelt after that fight down Mexico way his last before this one told me who was the fighter to show up on this night. Thanks for the write up on the fights.


        • Kid Blast
          Kid Blast commented
          Editing a comment
          "Come on, man," lmao

      • #6
        Respect Click image for larger version

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        • #7
          You enjoyed the Showtimes card ? I have always felt that Showtime was important due to the fact a lot of people watch who might not follow boxing but this is getting harder to stick with anymore. The annoucing crew on ' the new generation " work at trying to keep it interesting, but on the main cards (sat night) there own crew seemed to be turning away from the action ? Hard to call it action. you know the two guys in the ring. I want them to prove me wrong and show up sometime soon. When those two heavy weights fell at the same time in the ring, it did wake the crew up for a few minutes. Way to go protect yourselves at all times.


          • #8
            The Showtime card was far below their normal standard and why they willfully promote Broner is anyone’s guess after the manner in which he repeatedly attacked their announcers and introduced vulgar, racially charged bullshit onto their broadcasts. 🤢🤮


            • #9
              It was not good matchmaking to put Easter and Broner on the same card as neither has a fan-friendly style. The Top Rank card that went head-to-head promised fireworks and delivered. If this were a tennis match, Team Arum would have defeated Team Haymon in straight sets.