Oscar Valdez May Have Ruined Miguel Berchelt
By: Hans Themistode
Miguel Berchelt had a grand view of the 130-pound landscape. With the Mexican star sitting comfortably at the top of the super featherweight mountain, he could see his competitors coming from a mile away.
Berchelt was unintimidated as he witnessed Jamel Herring win a 130-pound world title. He also appeared unthreatened by the arrival of Shakur Stevenson. No matter who sauntered into Berchelt’s division, he believed the results would remain the same. Meaning, at some point, they would all fold underneath his pernicious knockout power.
Despite being viewed as the man to beat, Oscar Valdez, a former titlist at 126 pounds, became fixated on Berchelt’s throne. But while Valdez was respected and well-established as a featherweight, his performances at 130 pounds were uninspiring.
As he attempted to get his feet wet in his newfound division, Valdez provided a lackluster effort in his super featherweight debut against Jayson Velez. So, unsurprisingly, most of the boxing world gave Valdez little to no shot at pulling off the win against the long-standing champion. But as Berchelt confidently walked through the fanless MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, in February of 2021, he smiled from ear to ear, believing his showdown against Valdez would end the way most of his contests normally have, with his hand raised high and his opponent gasping for air, concussed on the canvas.
What proceeded, however, was about as one-sided a beating as you’ll ever witness. Valdez came out strong, boxing well on the outside and tagging his man repeatedly. In round four, things truly began falling apart for Berchelt as Valdez sent him crashing down to the deck. From there, Berchelt was reacquainted with the canvas several times over until he was finally put out of his misery in the tenth.
During the round, just moments before Berchelt was met with his unexpected demise, Valdez took one step back before landing a flush left hand. Once the blow connected, Berchelt’s body immediately went limp and before he crashed headfirst, Valdez ran joyfully around the ring, knowing their contest was officially over.
The loss for Berchelt was a painful one but one he believed he needed. With the Mexican knockout artist moving on from the 130-pound division and attempting to make his mark as a 135 pounder, he appeared confident, excited, and in the best shape of his life heading into his showdown against Jeremia Nakathila this past weekend.
Nothing appeared out of place. Berchelt still sported his trademark grin during their ceremonial weigh-ins, as he flexed and showed off his physique. Nevertheless, while Berchelt looked the same physically, Valdez has seemingly changed him for good.
The normally front-footed, aggressive fighter was absent. He was instead replaced with a more defensive-minded and cautious slugger. One who refused to let his hands go, even while he was in range. Nakathila didn’t complain. He moved forward, pressed Berchelt against the ropes, and wailed on the defenseless former champion for six grueling rounds until being forced to cede that Nakathila was the better man.
Although surprising, we’ve seen Berchelt’s case littered throughout the history of boxing. From Mike Tyson becoming a bit gun shy following his shocking loss at the hands of James “Buster” Douglas in 1990, to Adrian Broner admitting that his physically taxing showdown against Marcos Maidana cost him much more than just his perfect record.
Berchelt’s case is no different. Wins and losses come with the sport of boxing. However, they aren’t all analogous. From now until Berchelt ultimately decides to hang up the gloves for good, he’ll provide his fans with a false sense of security. He’ll pound the heavy bag when training, flex audaciously in the face of his competition and proudly claim that he’ll win a world title at 135 pounds.
But, despite the bravado and conjecture he’ll continue to spew, Berchelt doesn’t appear to be the same fighter he once was. What seemed to be just an inconsequential loss at the hands of Valdez, is showing signs of more than just that. No, it wasn’t just another tally in Berchelt’s loss column, it may have been the end of the former titlist as we once knew.
Miguel Berchelt Moving Up To 135
By: Hans Themistode
Heading into his highly-anticipated showdown against Oscar Valdez on February 20th, earlier this year, many believed Miguel Berchelt would walk right through his man. Considering the streak he was on, which consisted of 16 straight wins with 15 of them coming by way of knockout, Berchelt was head and shoulders above the rest of the 130-pound division. With that said, things have changed rapidly.
The competitive all-out brawl that was anticipated was instead replaced with a one-sided beating as Berchelt was dropped in the fourth as well as the ninth round. The Mexican native would hit the deck one final time in the tenth. The moment Berchelt regained conciseness, he realized that sticking around at 130 pounds was no longer an option. While he’s opting for a new change in scenery, he did reveal that he would, in fact, return to the lightweight division if he can get his hands on the man who ended his title reign.
“I have to overcome this defeat,” said Berchelt. “I already know the path in my heart. It’ll be tempered with intelligence and governed by a lot of discipline. We must keep going and we will move up to 135 pounds in my first fight back and then return to 130 pounds, aiming for the possibility of a rematch.”
Originally, Berchelt planned on putting up his WBC lightweight against Valdez on a completely different fight date. However, due to COVID-19, he was forced to postpone their showdown as he recovered from the deadly disease. Although he doesn’t want to take anything away from Valdez and his great performance, if given the chance to do it again, there’s a good chance Berchelt would have taken more time.
“Many know that I had COVID-19, and there was not much recovery time. It’s a disease that we are just getting to be familiar with. There are no excuses, but without a doubt, I am sure that there is a need to regain that scorpion sting. We are going to climb back from all of this even stronger than before.”
Tim Bradley Praises Oscar Valdez For Win Over Miguel Berchelt: “Nobody Wanted To Face This Guy, Not Even Gervonta Davis”
By: Hans Themistode
Oscar Valdez walked into his contest against Miguel Berchelt virtually without a single soul believing in him. However, by the time he left the ring a few minutes later, just about everyone was riding his coattails.
From the moment the opening bell rang, it was clear that Valdez was simply the better fighter. With knockdowns scored in both the fourth and ninth rounds, Valdez ended things with one final punch in the tenth.
Just about everyone is lauding the performance of Valdez. But in the case of former multiple division belt holder Timothy Bradley, he’s taken his praise to a whole other level.
“That type of performance that he put on, that’s hall of fame,” said Bradley on the Ak and Barak Show. “To me, he wrote his ticket to the hall of fame.”
For years now, Bradley sat back and watched Berchelt terrorize the super featherweight division. With 16 knockout wins in his past 17 fights, most expected Valdez to simply become another victim. With that said, they were all proven wrong as Valdez had little trouble dealing with the power and aggression of Berchelt.
In Bradley’s opinion, Valdez can hang up his gloves this very minute, then sit back and relax as his name is called to be enshrined into the hall of fame. Valdez’s name being mentioned amongst the greats is justified not because of his championship run at 126 pounds or even because of the countless back and forth battles we’ve all seen him in.
No, to Bradley, Valdez deserves the highest of praises because of his willingness to face someone like Berchelt, to begin with. Other big-name fighters, including a certain young star from Baltimore, Bradley believes was simply too scared to step up to the plate.
“Two division world champion, we’ve seen him in wars. He fought the bogeyman in the division. Nobody wanted to face this guy, not even Gervonta Davis wanted to face him, trust me on this. The guys that were at 130 avoided Berchelt because he was a big puncher, he was awkward, big and physically strong so a lot of guys strayed away from him.”
Oscar Valdez Shuts Up Everyone, KO’s Miguel Berchelt In The 10th
Everyone expected for there to be a knockout, however, no one believed that it would be coming from the smaller man.
Oscar Valdez could care less what his doubters said going into his super featherweight showdown against WBC belt holder Miguel Berchelt. If he did, he probably wouldn’t have gotten the win he was looking for.
The former WBO featherweight titlist surprisingly bullied his man early and often. Neither the power of Berchelt nor his presence made a difference in this one as he found himself down on the mat on several occasions.
With Berchelt losing by a healthy margin, Valdez avoided the desperate onslaught of his man and landed a walk off knockout win in the 10th.
The moment the shot landed, Berchelt was essentially comatose. From there, no count was needed as the contest was waved off and Valdez was crowned champion.
Miguel Berchelt: “A lot Of People Fear My Power”
By: Hans Themistode
There are a lot of things you can teach a fighter. Speed, agility, defense – even timing. However, no matter how many hours you put in the gym, there are just some things that are innate.
“I think you are born with the power,” said WBC super featherweight titlist Miguel Berchelt during an interview with Fight Hype. “I think a lot of people fear my power. I’m going to take advantage of that and use it on Saturday.”
In roughly 24 hours, Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) is hoping that his deleterious power will lead him to a high-profile victory against former WBO featherweight belt holder Oscar Valdez. The two are scheduled to meet in the main event slot in The Bubble at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For Berchelt, he simply isn’t going to act like something he isn’t. The Mexican product has never gone into any of his contests attempting to slip, dodge, weave and avoid the shots of his opponents while boxing from the outside. No, he’s always placed his head down, come forward and looked to end the night early.
More times than not, his game plan has worked out perfectly. Coming into his showdown against Valdez, he’ll look for his power to once again lead him to victory. Yet, unlike most of his opponents, Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) isn’t simply a banger looking to land his own money shot. For the former belt holder, he’s both boxed and brawled his way to victories.
While Berchelt will admit that he doesn’t have the luxury of winning in a multitude of ways, he doesn’t appeared worried. Although his skills aren’t considered amongst the greatest out there, his power makes up for it.
“Sometimes they see my sparring and think I’m not that good of a fighter,” explained Berchelt. “But when they get hit, they know that they’re in a real problem.”
With Valdez having a tendency to fall right into a firefight, Berchelt knows that’s exactly where his bread is buttered. From the outside looking in, breaking down their contest is a simple one. Whomever is remaining upright will win.
Yet, allowing their contest to be explained in the most simplistic of ways is both lazy and erroneous. There is little doubt that there will be a war this Saturday night, ultimately however, it’ll be the small wrinkles that either man applies to their game that will lead to either a new champion or just the continuation of a dominant run.
“It will be a chess match and we both have great corners. Whoever makes the best moves will come out with the victory.”
Oscar Valdez Is Motivated As Ever: “Losing Is Not An Option”
By: Hans Themistode
Oscar Valdez almost couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
Following a tenth-round stoppage win over fringe contender Jayson Velez in July of 2020, WBC super featherweight titlist Miguel Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) entered the ring, placed his arm around Valdez and posed for pictures. The win for Valdez was the last hurdle that needed to be cleared before he was given a title shot against the aforementioned Berchelt.
Watching from his ringside seat on the night was Hall of Famer and one of the best Mexican fighters in boxing history in Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. While Valdez may have picked up the win, Chavez Sr. doesn’t believe he has enough in the tank to handle Berchelt.
“He lacked a little more aggressiveness and wasn’t punching as much,” said Chavez Sr. to ESPN Deportes. ”I thought he looked ordinary. That Oscar Valdez, the one I saw, I think is not enough to beat Miguel Berchelt.”
Valdez, 30, knows good and well that almost no one expects him to pull off the victory this weekend. That much doesn’t really bother him. However, when the former WBO featherweight belt holder heard that someone he reveres so much is also picking against him, Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) admits that his former idol gave him major fuel to prove him wrong.
“That motivates me, said Valdez to Jose Luis Camarillo. “I have listened to my great idol Julio Cesar Chavez, who says Berchelt is going to win. That motivates me. There is nothing more beautiful in life than when you stay quiet and let your fists speak for themselves.”
There are a number of reasons why Chavez Sr. and a long list of others are on the side of Berchelt. For starters, the undefeated former champion struggled in his last contest before moving up in weight against Adam Lopez. In what figured to be an easy night at the office, Valdez found himself down on the canvas in round two before ultimately stopping his man in the seventh round. Valdez also has only one contest under his belt at his new weight class.
As for Berchelt, he’s been blasting out just about everyone to the tune of 16 knockout wins in his last 17 bouts.
Despite the impressive run and regardless of what his naysayers have to say, Valdez is trying to stay away from the negativity. Those who are dubious of his chances of winning are more than entitled to their opinion. With that being said, Valdez can’t wait to shut the mouths of everyone.
“I never let a bad comment affect me, I always try to make sure everything is fine in my camp. I stay positive – that’s what wins the fights. A good atmosphere, arrive well prepared physically, but even more so mentally. Losing is not an option.”
Oscar Valdez on Facing Miguel Berchelt Over Shakur Stevenson: “He is a Way Tougher Fight Than Shakur Stevenson”
By: Hans Themistode
Oscar Valdez (27-0, 21 KOs) has never been known for dodging the competition, or folding when the going gets tough. In a 2018 matchup against Scott Quigg, Valdez broke his jaw early in the contest but managed to push through and hold on to his WBO featherweight world title.
That performance, coupled with his action packed fighting style, made him a fan favorite. So it came as a surprise once Valdez began to hear the word “duck” associated with his name.
In 2019, the former WBO belt holder was staring at a mega showdown with the highly touted Shakur Stevenson (14-0, 8 KOs). Instead of taking on his mandatory in Stevenson however, Valdez opted to move up in weight. Now, he finds himself in line to face current WBC super featherweight titlist Miguel Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs).
Although Valdez has always kept his head down and tuned out the noise, he admitted that this time around, it annoyed him.
“I was a little bothered,” said Valdez in an interview with Fight Hub. “People were thinking that I moved up a division because I was ducking Shakur Stevenson. I’m trying to face Miguel Berchelt.”
While Valdez moved up and made himself feel at home at 130 pounds, Stevenson began decorating his new residence at 126. The former Olympic silver medalist took home the newly vacated featherweight title and began to make his presence known. However, after a short reign, Stevenson has decided to move up to 130 pounds. He immediately placed his eyes on Valdez. The former WBO belt holder is receptive to the idea, but he believes a win over Berchelt will be a bigger feather in his cap.
“I personally think he is a way tougher fight than Shakur Stevenson,” explained Valdez. “He’s a harder puncher, he’s a natural 130 pounder and he’s knocking all of these guys out. If I was scared to fight somebody then you would think it would be Miguel Berchelt. I’m not scared to fight any fighter, especially Shakur Stevenson. He’s a great fighter, very technical fighter. Olympic Silver medalist, so there’s nothing bad I can say about him.”
At the moment, Valdez already has his future mapped out. If things go how he believes they will, then a showdown with Stevenson is something that he isn’t running from.
“Right now I have Jayson Velez next. If everything happens the way I want it, which is win against Velez, then I fight for the title and win, then if he’s right there and I’m pretty sure he is going to be mandatory, then I have no problem fighting Shakur. I truly have no problem fighting anybody.”
ESPN Boxing Results: Miguel Berchelt Scores Another Knockout Win
Miguel Berchelt vs Eleazar Valenzuela
It was an easy night at the office for WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt (38-1, 34 KOs) as he took on Eleazar Valenzuela (21-14-4, 16 KOs) in the main event spot in the Conference Center at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Things started off great for Berchelt as he scored an early first round knockdown. Valenzuela got back to his feet as the round came to a close. From there, a quick night was thought to be in the cards for Berchelt, but Valenzuela had other plans as he proved to be durable.
However, in the sixth round, Berchelt poured on the pressure and scored the stoppage victory.
Omar Aguilar vs Dante Jardon
Before you could get comfortable in your seat, the fight between Omar Aguilar (18-0, 17 KOs) and Dante Jardon (32-7, 23 KOs) was over.
The end came the moment Aguilar let his hands go. He stunned his man as he backed into a corner. Before the punishment could continue though, the referee stepped in to call an end to the contest.
Alan Picasso vs Florentino Hernandez
Alan Picasso (14-1, 5 KOs) handed Florentino Hernandez (14-6-2, 9 KOs) his second straight defeat at the MGM Grand Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Picasso came out as the aggressor to start the night and his opponent had a difficult time keeping up the pace. Both men had their moments but Picasso was simply the better man as the judges scored it in his favor.
In a weird twist, instead of using the normal three judges to score the event, boxing has decided to extend it’s judging to six in a. temporary move. The final scorecards read 78-74, 79-73, 79-74 and 80-72 for the remaining judges in favor of Picasso.
Shakur Stevenson on Oscar Valdez: “He Knows I Would Beat Him Easily”
By: Hans Themistode
Looking ahead is never a good thing in boxing. Especially when you have an opponent standing right in front of you. Later on tonight, Shakur Stevenson will see what it feels like to fight in another weight class. The WBO Featherweight titlist is dipping his toe in the Super Featherweight division in his contest against Felix Caraballo.
According to oddsmakers, Stevenson is expected to win handily as he’s been tabbed as high as a 75-1 favorite. Meaning, in order to win $100 on Stevenson, you would have to wager a mere $7,500. In short, this is Stevenson’s fight to lose.
If the WBO belt holder does what most expect him to do, which it is dominate, then a showdown with Oscar Valdez could be in his not so distant future. Stevenson fought his way to the mandatory position to Valdez and his WBO strap. Instead of taking on Stevenson, Valdez dropped the belt and headed over to the Super Featherweight division. Stevenson didn’t sweat his decision though, winning the vacant title against Joet Gonzalez shortly after.
The two may not have been able to step into the ring against one another at 126 pounds, but now that they both currently reside at 130, Stevenson has an eye on him.
“I think Valdez is another one who knows my style isn’t for him,” Stevenson told BoxingScene.com. “I think he knows me and him don’t mix. He knows I would beat him easily. I think he knows that, but he just said in an interview that he wasn’t ducking me. He said everyone thinks that’s what it is, but he’s not ducking me. He’s going for Berchelt first and stuff like that. So, we’ll see when the time comes.”
Before Stevenson jumps to the head of the Oscar Valdez line, Miguel Berchelt will get the first crack at him. The two were on course to face off in May of this year for Berchelt’s WBC title. Of course, like every other boxing event over the past three months though, COVID-19 had other plans.
Now that the business of boxing is picking back up, they are now back on track for a showdown this year. A date is not definitively set in stone, but promoter Bob Arum has recently revealed to Boxingscene.com that the two will clash later on this year.
Both Valdez (27-0, 21 KOs) and Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) give a whole new meaning to the term “throwing leather.” Throughout the course of their careers, they’ve shown that they can give just as much as they can take. Which makes picking a winner that much more difficult for Stevenson.
“I think that Berchelt will win because he’s bigger and stronger than Valdez,” Stevenson said. “But Valdez might surprise people. It really depends with them two who lands the best punch, because they both will be throwing bombs. I don’t know that Berchelt’s defense is that good, and Valdez throws a lot of power punches. I don’t know. We’ll have to see.”