By Sean Jones: Teofimo Lopez was greatly impressed with what he saw from Oscar Valdez with his upset 10th round knockout victory over the long-reigning WBC super featherweight champion Miguel ‘El Alacran’ Berchelt last Saturday night.
Unbeaten undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo liked the punch placement for Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs with the left hook that he landed to KO Berchelt (37-2, 33 Os) in round 10 in their fight in ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Teofimo noted that Oscar Valdez stepped back before unleashing the left hook that Berchelt never saw coming. The shot took Berchelt by surprise, as he clearly expected Valdez to cover up because he was trapped against the ropes.
Valdez’s surprise shot knocked Berchelt flat on his face, leaving him unconscious for a period of time before the ringside medical staff slowly revived him.
Referee Russell Mora had been planning on stopping the fight after the 10th round because of the punishment that Berchelt had been taking, Teofimo said. Berchelt looked hurt throughout the tenth, especially in the last seconds of the round.
Teofimo impressed with Valdez’s performance
“That was intense. I just love the placement on it,” said Teofimo Lopez to Little Giant Boxing on the knockout shot by Oscar Valdez against Miguel Berchelt. “That was a bad-a** knockout.
“The placement of the knockout when he [Valdez] was moving back. If you look at it as a technician, look at the foot placement and look at it as the head movement along with it.
“He was in the place all the time, and he could have thrown a shot anytime he wanted going backwards. It was beautiful.
“The referee Russell Mora said he was going to stop it right after. Right after that round [10th], he was going to stop it, right after that bell. He said he was going to. It was too much damage.
“A 20,” said Teofimo when asked what he’d give Oscar Valdez on his performance. “The placement and the way that he worked.
“The only thing I could say [that Valdez needed improvement on] is body shots. These are two Mexican fighters that are going in there that have something to lose; they all do. We all have something to lose,” said Teofimo.
What made the performance by Valdez all the more impressive was the size differential between him and Berchelt.
The fight looked like a featherweight taking on a 140-pounder, but Valdez used his speed and boxing skills to dominate his bigger opponent.
Oscar Valdez looking unstoppable
“That’s a great fight; I think everybody wins,” Teofimo said about a fight between Shakur Stevenson and Oscar Valdez. “It’s USA vs. Mexico, and it’s just an outstanding fight.”
“One person wins, Shakur Stevenson,” said Stevenson about a fight between him and Valdez. “I’ve been calling out Oscar Valdez since 2018.”
“That would be a great fight,” said Teofimo Lopez Sr when asked about the winner of a fight between Oscar Valdez and Stevenson.
“I don’t know yet [who wins]. I got to sit down and watch. They both box for Top Rank. I play my cards low-low. Let’s see what happens.
“What I saw today, I don’t think he can be stopped. If he [Valdez] keeps doing the same thing.
“He needed to do that at the beginning of the rounds, and I think if he’d pressured Berchelt earlier, he would have knocked him out earlier.
“The corner did really well by saying, ‘You got to press the fight. You’re not going to win backing up like that.’
“It showed in the middle of the fight where he started pressuring him and got him hurt, and then Berchelt came back,” said Lopez Sr.
The fight that the boxing fans want to see now is Valdez against Shakur Stevenson, and that’s one that could happen in 2021. Top Rank would be wiser to wait though because if they make that fight, they’ll be wrecking one of their revenue streams.