By Max Seitelman: Oscar Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs) upset the odds in defeating WBC super featherweight champion Miguel ‘El Alacran’ Berchelt (37-2, 33 KOs) by an earth-shattering 10th round knockout in their main event fight on ESPN on Saturday night.
Valdez, 29, used his speed and skill advantage to wear down Berchelt and knock him down in the 9th and 10th rounds. The ending came with Valdez knocking Berchelt out cold with a left-hand shot that caused him to fall over.
The took place at the MGM Grand inside the Bubble in Las Vegas, Nevada.
From the first round, Valdez used his superior boxing skills to get the better of Berchelt. Then in the fourth round, Valdez hurt Berchelt with a big left hook to the head that caused him to lose his legs and stumble into the ropes. The referee Russell Mora gave Valdez credit for a knockdown because the ropes have prevented Berchelt from falling.
After the fourth, Berchelt still looked shaky in the fifth and was nailed with a lot of hard shots from Valdez that he ate.
Valdez looked like he gassed a little after the fifth round, though, and that enabled the bigger, slower Berchelt to use his superior size to come forward and throw hooks to just barely get the better of Valdez in rounds six through eight.
Valdez did a good job of tying Berchelt up to stymie his offense in those rounds, and he counted him frequently.
In the ninth, Valdez looked like he was fully replenished and he came on strong to drop Berchelt.
After that round, it was obvious that Berchelt needed a miracle for him to make it through another round, as he was taking too much punishment. Sure enough, Valdez knocked Berchelt out cold in the 10th round with a peach of a left hook to the head.
The writing was on the wall from the very start that Berchelt was going to have problems for this fight when he eating food and drinking fluids like it was going out of style last Friday after the weigh-in.
Berchelt looked visibly drained at the weigh-in, and it was obvious that he had taken off too much water weight. Even after the weigh-in while being interviewed, he was too thin and haggard. He’s been having a hard time making the 130lb limit, and you can argue that he should have moved up to 135 a while ago.
Tonight, Berchelt finally paid the price for him sticking around a weight class that his body has outgrown. He needs to move up to lightweight before he gets beaten again.
Berchelt has been able to get away with being too big for the 130-lb division because he hasn’t faced anyone good for ages. When you’re being matched the way Berchelt has, it’s enabled him to stick around in a division that he normally would have had to leave a long time ago if he were facing talented fighters.
There’s no word yet on whether there will be a rematch between Valdez and Berchelt. Their promoter Bob Arum likes to do rematches, but in this case, it might not be a good idea for Berchelt. He needs to move up to 135 or possibly even 140. He’s really way too big to be fighting at 130 at this point in his career.