By: Hans Themistode
Oscar Valdez was good, maybe even great but few, if any, believed he would be able to get the job done against Miguel Berchelt. The two fought in the main event slot at “The Bubble” in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada just a few weeks ago.
On the line was Berchelt’s WBC super featherweight world title. For the most part, Valdez was viewed as a worthy challenger but one who simply didn’t have the firepower to compete with the hard hitting Berchelt.
However, after outboxing, hurting and later finishing off his man in the tenth, most were left shell shocked. Well, everyone except for Leo Santa Cruz.
“I always said Valdez had a chance, not like other people,” said Santa Cruz during an interview with Fight Hype. “I knew he had a chance to win, even by knockout.”
During the lead-up to Valdez vs Berchelt, there was one prevailing thought surrounding the event. That was, everyone should flip on their television sets to watch this one as it was going to be a back and forth war. But while their showdown wasn’t a boring one by any stretch, it certainly wasn’t the violent contest many were expecting.
For Santa Cruz though, he appreciated the approach that Valdez took in order to pick up the victory.
“He didn’t stay there and trade punches with him. He was just boxing him and landing the bigger shots.”
Although Valdez is still enjoying his newly won world title, several notable names in the division are now eyeing a showdown with him. Amongst them is Santa Cruz.
Despite his credentials as multiple division world champion, many will point to his sixth-round knockout loss at the hands of Gervonta Davis in October of 2020 as the main reason why he doesn’t deserve an immediate title shot.
With that said, Santa Cruz believes his recent setback is of little importance. If given the chance, the California native knows that his all-Mexican showdown against Valdez would be a classic.
“I’m up for a fight between me and him. I know people are going to say I’m coming off a loss and they knocked me out but it doesn’t matter. That’s what we’re here for. Were here to fight. I know a fight between me and Valdez would be really great and entertaining for the fans. Styles make fights and I know me and him have the perfect style to make a great fight.”
The ease in which Valdez handled Berchelt just a few weeks ago still resonates with Santa Cruz. Like most, he was expecting a much more competitive fight. Still, with all due respect to Berchelt, Santa Cruz is under the belief that he didn’t have the tools needed to get the job done. With himself, on the other hand, he believes at the very least, the entertainment value will be through the roof.
“I know Berchelt is a great fighter and everything but Oscar Valdez made it look easy. With me, I think I would make it more entertaining.”