Oscar Valdez Stops Jayson Velez in the Final Round and Edgar Berlanga Makes it Fourteen
By George Goddiess – Oscar Valdez capped off a difficult evening in The Bubble at MGM Grand in Las Vegas by stopping Jayson Velez in the final minute of the tenth round. Valdez, ranked number two by the WBC and number one by the WBO, made his second appearance at super featherweight after vacating his WBO featherweight title in his pursuit of WBC titlist Miguel Berchelt. Though Velez is only two inches taller and the jump in weight classes is only four pounds, Velez looked massive compared to Valdez. Velez came out aggressive early and provided a stern challenge for the former titlist.
Early on in the bout Velez was meeting Valdez in the center of the ring and looking to be the ring general by controlling the space. He was very busy with his jab in the first two rounds and would bring his straight right hand over the left glove of Oscar Valdez. Valdez to his credit was successful with his compact left hook but was out worked early on. In the third round Valdez began to get his bearings in the fight with his superior hand speed and tighter punches. He was able to counter with his left hook or over hand right and capitalized on Velez who was slow to return his hands back to defense after throwing his shots.
Velez pressed the action in the fifth round as he backed Valdez up. He continued to pursue with his straight punches both with his left and right hands. Valdez would skillfully evade these punches but was often too far out of range to make Velez pay with counters. In a closely contested round Valdez sealed it with a knockdown with less than thirty seconds remaining in the round. Velez stuck out a fully extended jab as Valdez slipped underneath and from a crouched position launched a hard left hook that he sprung into. Velez returned to his feet quickly but Valdez remained aggressive to close out the round. In round six Valdez continued to have success as he landed a left hook on Velez that lifted his foot off the canvas. Velez languished a little more inside and made him more susceptible to the left hook and even the right uppercut despite being the taller man.
Velez pushed the pace more in the seventh and eighth rounds and had a lot of success. Valdez looked more lethargic in these rounds and it appeared that the fight could potentially be close on the scorecards (Dave Moretti had it a one point fight going into the final round). Early in round nine Tony Weeks broke the action to take a point from Jayson Velez for a low blow. The punch seemed to land on the thigh and not be a very damaging blow as there was not a long break in the action. The point appeared to be critical and without warnings or seeming intentional the decision to take a point seemed unfair. Velez fought a good round but Valdez landed solid left hand that hurt Velez but Velez did a pretty good job of masking the damage and hiding how much he was shaken by the blow. Despite the tough outing Valdez closed the show in style with a technical knockout at two minutes and twenty-three seconds of the final round.
The flood gates opened as Valdez landed a solid left hook to the temple that scrambled Velez’s legs momentarily. Valdez sensing the situation landed an overhand right followed by a left hook and Velez hit the canvas for the second time in the bout. Velez rose to his feet and Tony Weeks let him continue but the follow up attack led to another overhand right putting Velez down again in the round. At this point Weeks had seen enough and called an end to the contest with just under a minute to go. Moretti may have had the fight close but Patricia More Jarman and Steve Weisfeld had the fight a landslide for Valdez with Velez only getting the third from Jarman and the eight from Weisfeld. The scorecard from Moretti would be the more accurate of the three and more indicative of what actually occurred in the rind. Valdez was pushed all the way by larger and gritty Velez who came in to win. Despite the resolve Oscar showed in closing out this win Berchelt should be seen as the favorite heading into their potential bout. Miguel will have a two inch height advantage and about a five inch reach advantage which will cause the same type of issues Velez did. Berchelt is also a hard puncher as he has not gone the distance since 2017 and has not lost since 2014. This is a great fight to look forward to as Valdez becomes the first to stop Jayson Velez and makes for exciting fights dating back to 2018 when he outlasted Scott Quigg with a broken jaw.
Edgar Berlanga: Now 14-0 with 14 First Round Wins
“The Chosen One” recorded yet another first round victory tonight and only needed sixty-two seconds to put away 11-2 Eric Moon of Marietta, Georgia. Moon had only been stopped once in his thirteen fights and on paper looked to be durable enough to end the streak which has seen Berlanga only average ninety-eight seconds a fight. At the opening bell it was Moon who struck first with a combination that he met Berlanga with at center ring. This was the last moment of success for Moon who was then put on the defensive and methodically worn down.
Moon was forced to moving on the perimeter and going back and forth along the ropes. Berlanga attacked with a left hook to the body then with a left hook to the head. Moon was then trapped with his back to the ropes and open the full arsenal from Berlanga who lined him up for a flush overhand right. Moon fell straight to the canvas and in an attempt to get up rolled forward almost in a somersault and was waved off immediately. When the corner men got to Moon his eyes were still glassy and he was dazed from the shot. Berlanga continues the streak and waits to be taken past the initial three minutes. To set the record for most consecutive first round stoppages to begin a career he still needs seven to go just to tie it. The Brooklyn based and Puerto Rican born Berlanga continues to punch his way though his competition and we will wait to see what he does next. He is already competing in eight round bouts even if he has not been required to go that long.
Isaac Dogboe Dominant: Stops Chris Avalos in 8
Isaac Dogboe shook off a fourteen month layoff by stopping two time title challenger Chris Avalos in the final round. Dogboe was in complete control of this bout from start to finish. Dogboe was defeated handily twice by Emmanuel Navarrete in losing and failing to regain his WBO title at super bantamweight. This evening he was on his way to a dominant decision win when he scored a technical knockout in the eighth and final round. An overhand right along the ropes prompted referee Russell Mora to halt the contest at two minutes and twenty-five seconds as Dogboe got his first stoppage win since 2018.
Elvis Rodriguez and Kim Clavel Shine in Showcase Fights
Elvis Rodriguez “The Dominican Kid” is a Wild Card Gym junior welterweight coached by Freddy Roach and at twenty-four extends his record to 8-0-1 (8). Rodriguez fought a very patient first round with 4-3-1 Dennis Okoth before scoring a highlight reel finish in the second round at two minutes and thirty-three seconds. Early in the second round Rodriguez used his jab to establish distance and even extended it as a measuring stick. He got full extension on a right jab from the southpaw stance and fired a left down the middle that got between Okoth’s guard and sent him down to the canvas. Rodriguez is a young southpaw with power and a good coach; he will be interesting to watch out for as he develops further. It was announced that he will return in August on ESPN in what is a great opportunity to garner more attention.
2020 ESPY winner Kim Clavel of Montreal Canada has worked as a nurse throughout the COVID-19 crisis and continues her climb up the light flyweight ranks. Tonight she defeated fellow undefeated 6-0 Natalie Gonzalez of New Rochelle, New York. Clavel continues a trend of dominant victories as all of her contests have either ended in a stoppage or near shutout unanimous decision. Lisa Giampa, Patricia Morse Jarman and Dave Moretti all had identical 80-72 cards for Clavel who was dominant tonight. Gonzalez was game until the final bell but was ultimately outclassed over eight rounds by the quicker and shaper punches of Clavel. Clavel displayed a consistent jab, accurate right cross and an impressive left hook counter.
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