Miguel Berchelt vs. Oscar Valdez waiting confirmation
By Aragon Garcia: WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt and former WBO 126lb champ Oscar Valdez are said to be close to having a done deal for a fight between them. They were supposed to be fighting on June 6, but that couldn’t happen.
Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) will be making the seventh defense of his World Boxing Council 130-lb title that he won three years ago in stopping Francisco Vargas in the 11th round in January 2017. Those two fought a rematch last year in May 2019, and Berchelt made easy work of Vargas in batting him until the contest was halted in round 6.
Berchelt views his fight against former WBO featherweight champion Valdez (27-0, 21 KOs) as a similar type of fight as the March 2007 bout between Juan Manuel Marquez and Marco Antonio Barrera. That was an exciting war that Marquez won by a fairly one-sided 12 round unanimous decision.
This will be a battle of trainers as well. Berchelt is coached by Alfredo Caballero, whereas Valdez is trained by the Eddy Reynoso, who is famous for coaching Canelo Alvarez and Ryan Garcia. Which coach will prevail?
Berchelt excited about Valdez fight
“What makes this fight so interesting is that we are both having a great time, me making the seventh defense of my title and he looking for his second title,” said Berchelt to ESPN MX.
“I think what makes it more attractive is that it is Mexico against Mexico, these fights are always a guarantee of the show, I know that many do not want it, but it has to happen. I really liked Barrera-Márquez, that is the most recent one, I see it that way.”
Marquez vs. Barrera might not be a good example of what kind of fight the Berchelt vs. Valdez fight. That fight was too one-sided for it to be a good match to compare the Berchelt-Valdez one with. A better comparison would be Erik Morales vs. Barrera from their first fight in February 2000. Both guys were in their prime and it was a real war from start to finish. Morales won a 12 round split decision.
Valdez, 29, has only fought once at super featherweight since moving up in eight last November in stopping 126-pounder Adam Lopez (13-2, 6 KOs) in the 7th round in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lopez, who isn’t a big puncher, knocked Valdez down with a left hook to the head.
Although Valdez came back and was able to stop Lopez in round 7, the stoppage was controversial. It looked to some boxing fan that the referee Russell Morales pulled the trigger too soon in waiving off the fight. It worked in Valdez’s favor having the fight stopped because he had a hard time throughout the contest.
Oscar Valdez’s punch resistance looking shaky
Valdez’s punch resistance hasn’t looked the same since he was hurt by Miguel Marriaga in April 2017. Oscar won the contest by a 12 round unanimous decision, but he was shaken up badly by the powerful Marriaga. In Valdez’s next fight after that against Genesis Servania, he was dropped in round 4 in September 2017.
Valdez came back and won a 12 round decision. In March 2018, Valdez suffered a broken jaw in beating Scott Quigg by a 12 round decision. That fight proved to be a grueling one for Valdez, being that he fought with a broken jaw from round 5 on. Valdez took 11 months off after the Quigg fight before coming back against the light-hitting Carmine Tommasone in February 2019. It was a tune-level fight for Valdez, and he looked good in stopping Tommasone in the 7th.
Top Rank had Valdez take another tune-up after Tommasone against Jason Sanchez last June, and he beat him by an impressive 12 round decision. Valdez’s fight with Adam Lopez was supposed to be yet another warmup fight for him, but it didn’t work out that way.
Lopez cracked Valdez with a left hook in the 2nd, and he went down hard on the canvas. The thing is, it wasn’t a flash knockdown. Valdez was genuinely hurt, and lucky for him the round ended before Lopez could finish him off.
Frankly, Top Rank has put Valdez in nothing but tune-up fights since his grueling match against Quigg, and he’s looked shaky. The Marriaga took something out of Valdez that he can’t get back. It might be a bad idea for Valdez to face Berchelt so soon after moving up to 130.
Berchelt surprised Valdez dropped by Lopez
“I was a little bit worried at first because you normally don’t see a 126-pounder knockdown a super featherweight the way that he did, but Oscar got up and was able to fight after that,” said Berchelt to Fighthype on featherweight Adam Lopez dropping Valdez. “Lopez didn’t just come to lay down. He came to give a good fight. Oscar, you got to give him credit.
“He came back strong and was able to finish him off in a close fight. Right now, Oscar Valdez is next, but as long as the offer is right, I’m willing to fight any of the champions. I can’t say how the fight will play out, but with two Mexican fighters, you know it’s going to be a really good fight when they get in the ring. And I know I’ve been wanting to fight Oscar for a long time and Oscar has wanted to fight him.
“I was really surprised that he was knocked down,” said Berchelt about Lopez flattening Valdez in round 2. “Never in my life, I thought I’d see a 126-pounder knocking down a 130-pounder like that, but you have to give him credit. He was able to recover from that, recover and listen to his corner and do what they said. He was able to fight intelligent after that, and come back and win the fight,” said Berchelt.
It was a surprise to a lot of boxing fans seeing Lopez put Valdez down so hard in round 2, but it suggests to some that Oscar’s chin isn’t the same. Since Valdez’s clash with Marriaga, he’s been many times in his subsequent bouts by guys that aren’t big punchers.
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