Miguel Berchelt defeats Eleazar Valenzuela by a 6th round TKO
By Jeff Aronow: In a regular beat down, Miguel Berchelt pummeled journeyman Eleazar Valenzuela nonstop before the one-sided slaughter was finally halted in round six in this non-title fight on Saturday night in a scheduled 10 round fight at the TV Azteca Studios.
The win for Berchelt was the seventh successful defense of his WBA 130-pound title that he won in 2017 in beating champion Francisco Vargas by an 11th round knockout. Looking back at that fight, it seems like so long ago.
Berchelt was only 25 then, and he fought in a much different way than he did against Valenzuela. Berchelt threw a lot of jabs to wear down and stop Francisco, and there wasn’t much he could do about it. It was a different story against Valenzuela, who he battered from start to finish. Berchelt unloaded mostly power punches to the head and body of Valenzuela, and he wasn’t interested in boxing him.
Too much firepower for Valenzuela
Berchelt (38-1, 34 KOs) didn’t have his WBC super featherweight title on the line against the 25-year-old Valenzuela (21-14-4, 16 KOs), and it’s understandable why. This fight wouldn’t have been sanctioned by any of the boxing commissions because Valenzuela isn’t a ranked contender.
In round one, Berchelt dropped Valenzuela with a hard left hook to the head. Berchelt caught Valenzuela with the shot perfectly with him backing up against the ropes.
Berchelt could have jumped on Valenzuela to finish him if he wanted to, but he eased off. It was obvious that Berchelt, 28, wanted to carry Valenzuela so he could get the ring rust off, which was a smart thing for him to do.
From rounds two to five, Berchelt fought well in targeting the body and the head of Valenzuela. Berchelt threw a lot of shots, and he wasn’t worried about landing the perfect punch. He just wanted to let his hands go, and that’s how he always fights.
Berchelt put an end to the fight in round six when he suddenly landed two right hands with full power on them, which sent a badly hurt Valenzuela to the ropes. Moments after Berchelt followed up with a few more shots, the referee halted the fight.
Eleazar unhappy with stoppage
Valenzuela looked angry at the referee for stopping the bout because he was trying to cover up and then fire back. The referee didn’t give Valenzuela a chance to try and work his out of the dire situation he was in.
Berchelt is one of those old-school, high volume punchers, who never stops throwing punches. It works well for him and it makes his fights entertaining to watch.
Berchelt connected on 201 of 321 shots for a 62.6 percent connect percentage. For his part, Valenzuela connected on 37 on 305 punches for a 12% connect rate. It seemed like Valenzuela landed more than the 37 shots that he’s being credit for in the final punch stats, but a lot of his punches were picked off on the gloves of Berchelt.
The purpose of the 28-year-old Berchelt fighting a guy like Valenzuela was to get active again, as he hadn’t fought in seven months since November 2019. The pandemic stopped boxing and kept Berchelt from being active until now.
Other boxing results on the Berchelt vs. Valenzuela card:
Alan David Picasso UD 8 Florentino Perez Hernandez
Omar Aguilar TKO 1 Dante Jardon
Berchelt to face Oscar Valdez next
With the victory, Berchelt is planning on fighting former WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (27-0, 21 KOs) later this year in the fall. The 29-year-old Valdez is ranked #1 with the WBC, and he’s the leading contender. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is anxious to put the Berchelt-Valdez to get, as it’s expected to be an interesting one.
“Now what follows is the expected fight against Oscar Valdez,” Berchelt said after the fight. “Every fan wants to see that fight, and we are ready for that war.
“I felt great, but the altitude Mexico City hit me a little bit. It is not easy to fight in Mexico City. Eleazar is a tough fighter. He endured everything I threw at him. He gained my respect. My experience as a world champion pushed me forward.”
It wasn’t just Berchelt’s time as a world champion that led him to victory against Valenzuela. Berchelt is a much better fighter, and he would have beaten Valenzuela even before he became a world champion.
After watching this fight, Valdez could be just as over-matched against Berchelt as Valenzuela was. Valdez’s issues with his punch resistance, which is shaky, may lead to him being stopped early by Berchelt. There’s no way that Valdez will be able to stand in the pocket and match Berchelt punch for punch.
Oscar needs to increase his punch volume
Valdez doesn’t possess that kind of work rate. What Valdez has going for him is his trainer Eddy Reynoso. He’ll put together a good plan that involves a lot of movement, and quick in and out attacks.
Using in and out attacks is the way that Valdez fought in his 12 round unanimous decision victory over Scott Quigg in March 2018. Early on in the fight, Valdez stood and slugged with the hard-hitting Quigg.
But getting the worst of it through five rounds, Valdez adapted in the sixth and kept the fight on the outside to keep Quigg from landing. However, it was still a grueling fight for Valdez, which was made worse by him suffering a broken jaw in round five.
In the second half of the fight, Valdez had his mouth open the entire time because of his broken jaw. Blood was continually leaking from Valdez’s mouth. It’s a miracle that the fight wasn’t stopped.
Berchelt is a lot tougher than Quigg, and Valdez may fall apart when the time comes for those two to face each other.
The size advantage that Berchelt has over Valdez will work in his favor, and it’ll allow him to dominate the contest. Valdez won’t be able to take the fight to the outside to try and keep Berchelt from landing. That trick worked for Valdez against Quigg, but it won’t work against Berchelt.
Stevenson to face Berchelt soon
Shakur Stevenson moved up to super featherweight division, and he’s interested in facing Berchelt soon. We’ll have to see if Top Rank promoter Bob Arum lets the Berchelt vs. Stevenson fight take place.
Arum might choose not to let the 22-year-old Shakur face Berchelt this early in his career because he’s young and doesn’t yet have the experience to be taking on a seasoned vet like him.
It would greatly help Stevenson’s career if he were to beat Berchelt in 2021 because it would create a lot of attention on him from fans. It might be too early yet for that clash to be taking place given the age and inexperience of Stevenson.
The lack of power would hurt Stevenson’s chances of beating Berchelt, and there’s nothing he can do to change that.
Stevenson will probably never be a big younger during his career. It would be a bad idea for Stevenson to get in a war with Berchelt, and try and match his work rate.
Stevenson would probably stand a better chance against Berchelt than Valdez due to his height, reach and boxing skills. Shakur has the talent to keep the fight on the outside all night, and try and make Berchelt box him.
That’s not likely to work, though, because Berchelt will close the distance and make the weaker-punching Stevenson trade with him.
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