By Matt Lieberman: Former WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt is vowing to come back stronger after his disappointing 10th round knockout defeat against challenger Oscar Valdez last Saturday night.
Berchelt (37-2, 33 KOs) noted that people give you respect when you’re at the top, but when you stumble, they’re quick to criticize.
Since his loss, Berchelt, 29, has received many negative comments from boxing fans, many of which have wondered how he was able to stay a champion for so long.
Berchelt’s weight might have been a factor in his defeat against Valdez, in addition to his wide-open defense.
The way that Berchelt looked at the weigh-in, thin and drawn, and all the weight that he put on afterward, you could tell that something was wrong. Berchelt looked huge inside the ring, and he was sluggish and slow from the outset.
In Berchelt’s statement to his boxing fans, he didn’t say whether he’ll stay at 130 or move up to 135. He may need to move up to lightweight if he doesn’t want to continue to have problems moving forward.
“I want to thank all the people who care about me, and thank God I’m OK. I’ll come back stronger,” said Berchelt in a statement. “When you’re up, you have everyone’s approval and respect. But when you fall, you’ll always be judged. Boxing is like life itself. Team Berchelt.”
True 🇲🇽 warrior.
El Alacrán will be back 💪 pic.twitter.com/HyBup92qkR
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) February 22, 2021
Fans, in general, are critical of fighters when they lose, and that’s part of the disappointment of seeing their favorites being brought back down to earth.
If Oscar Valdez sticks around the sport long enough, we’ll likely see him lose too eventually.
Berchelt should look better if he moves up to the 135 or preferably the 140-lb division. The way he looked last Saturday, he should be fighting at light-welterweight.
There was no fat on Berchelt after he rehydrated, and his body looked as big as the top 140-pounders Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor when they fight.
Teofimo Lopez Sr saw the KO coming
“That’s what I said; it was a matter of time before he catches him with the left hook,” said Teofimo Lopez Sr to Fighthype about Oscar Valdez landing a left hook in the 10th that knocked out Berchelt. “I knew it, man. Was it a left hook? I didn’t even see it.
“I said it, he was going to catch him with a left hook. That was crazy, that was a statement right there, baby. The conditioning was really important [for Valdez]. He almost got out-boxed.
“In the 8th round, I think he was in trouble, but he came back even stronger in the next round, so that’s good for him. After the eighth round, I think it was. It looked like he [Berchelt] was coming back.
“What surprised me a lot was his power,” Teofimo Sr said about Valdez. “Reynoso is doing a good job. That’s what he should have done. From the beginning, go forward and walk him down.
“You can’t give Berchelt too much respect. It was good that they changed it at the end. But I knew that left hook was going to catch him, Berchelt was all open. He got no defense.
“That face was just out there, so I knew he was going to drop him. I was telling them, ‘It’s just a matter of time.’ I was watching my phone when the knockout came. My son told me it was a left hook.
“It was a great fight for him, man. We knew who was going to win. My son is a good friend of Valdez.
“We don’t know Berchelt that well. We were at his locker room, and we told him, ‘Go do your thing, man. This is your time to shine.’ It was a good fight,” said Teofimo Sr.
It was only a matter of time before Valdez knocked out Berchelt after he hurt him badly in the fourth. Berchelt never recovered from that round, and he was a sitting duck for every punch that Valdez threw.
Berchelt has already made history
“It looked like he was coming back, but they changed the game plan,” said Teofimo Lopez Jr about Valdez and his trainer Eddy Reynoso switching things up in the ninth round to shut down Berchelt’s comeback attempt.”
“They started coming forward like I was telling you, you got to pressure, man,” said Teofimo Sr about Valdez. “You can’t be backing up like that.
“He was hitting him all night like that, bro. I hope he’s [Berchelt] alright because he was taking some big bombs.
“To tell you the truth, I thought Berchelt was going to win this fight, and he [Valdez] proved me wrong and that’s good for him.
“We went to his locker room because we wanted him to win, but it was a very scary fight for him. He came out and he shocked the world. It was a good win for that man. I would like to see Shakur with Valdez.
“It was one that he didn’t see coming,” Teofimo Jr said of the knockout blow that Berchelt was hit with in the tenth round. “He’s got a good team.
“The jab was the most effective shot right there that was helping him, and then they brought it back again. It was slowing him back down and it was beautiful angles.
“That was a great game plan in the second half of the fight. This was his [Berchelt] seventh defense.
“He’s already made history and is in the books. They got Shakur Stevenson here tonight, so they may talk about it,” said Teofimo about Stevenson vs. Valdez.
If this is the end of Berchelt’s time as a world champion for the remainder of his career, he has a lot to be proud of. He held the WBC 130-lb title for four years before losing it, and there are not too many fighters that can do that.