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.”
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.
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.”
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 vs Jayson Velez
Oscar Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) was given the solo spotlight tonight at the MGM Grand Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. His dance partner on the night in Jayson Velez (29-7-1, 21, KOs) was thought to be nothing more then a durable opponent who would fold when the going go tough.
However, Velez had other ideas. Valdez had a difficult time finding his rhythm and was consistently hit with shots during the early going. His struggles didn’t last long though, as he began to bully his way on the inside.
Up until the tenth and final round, their contest was extremely competitive. With that being said, Valdez refused to take a chance on the judges scorecards and ended the night early with two knockdowns which forced the referee to step in and put a halt to the contest.
Isaac Dogboe vs Chris Avalos
Isaac Dogboe (21-2, 14 KOs) was built up to be a star in the sport of boxing after grabbing the WBO super bantamweight title from Jessie Magdaleno. His career however, took a turn for the worse after back to back losses to Emanuel Navarrete.
With a win tonight over Chris Avalos (27-8, 20 KOs) tonight at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Dogboe found himself back in the winners circle.
Dogboe’s performance was one sided all night as Avalos had no answers and was ultimately stopped in the 8th and final round.
Elvis Rodriguez vs Dennis Okoth
Unsurprisingly, Elvis Rodriguez (8-0-1, 8 KOs) scored another knockout victory. This time, his explosive talents were used on journeymen Dennis Okoth (4-4-1, 2 KOs).
Okoth was quickly overwhelmed and found himself staring up at the ceiling lights as a straight left hand sent him down and out in the second round.
Kim Clavel vs Natalie Gonzalez
Kim Clavel (12-0, 2 KOs) made it look easy tonight against Natalie Gonzalez (6-1, 1 KO). Their contest took place at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The ESPY award winner was in complete control from the opening bell. She consistently landed punches on her opponent while evading the attack coming on the other side of the ring. After eight one sided rounds, Clavel walked away with the unanimous decision victory. The final scorecards turned in by the judges were as followed: 80-72 across the board.
Edgar Berlanga vs Eric Moon
If you blinked during the co main event of Edgar Berlanga (14-0, 14 KOs) vs Eric Moon (11-3, 6 KOs), then there’s a good chance you missed the entire contest.
Berlanga needed just a few seconds to get rid of his man. He pushed Moon back into the corner and poured on the power shots. It didn’t take long for Moon to fall, and when he did, it was painful.
Once he hit the canvas, the contest was called off shortly after.
By: Hans Themistode
Oscar Valdez is one win away from where he truly wants to be.
The former WBO featherweight titlist steps into the ring against Jayson Velez tomorrow night at the MGM Grand Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
As for the matchup itself, most believe that it will be one way traffic all night long. Valdez is a former champion in a lower weight division, and has plenty riding on the line in this one. Current WBC super featherweight world champion Miguel Berchelt is already waiting for Valdez should he make it through the night.
For Velez, not much is expected of him. The fringe contender is fresh off a loss against Jaime Arboleda and has seemingly always come up short when the spotlight has shone its brightest upon him.
In a 2018 matchup against Ryan Garcia, Velez was thoroughly outboxed. Two years prior, Velez tasted defeat in four straight contests. Another loss is expected on the night as he has been pegged as a heavy underdog according to the betting public.
With the main event all but decided, the rest of the card will provide plenty of intrigue. Former super bantamweight world champion Isaac Dogboe is hoping to get back into the title hunt when he takes on Chris Avalos.
The 25 year old Dogboe was thought to be boxing’s next big star until back to back defeats against Emmanuel Navarrete dimmed his star considerably. With five losses in his last seven ring appearances, Avalos could be exactly what the doctor ordered for Dogboe.
The night kicks off at 8 PM ET tomorrow night on ESPN.
For the full weigh-in results, scroll down below.
Oscar Valdez 129.9 pounds (27-0, 21 KOs) vs Jayson Velez 130 pounds (29-6-1, 21 KOs)
Edgar Berlanga 169 pounds (13-0, 13 KOs) vs Eric Moon 168.7 pounds (11-2, 6 KOs)
Kim Clavel 109.8 pounds (11-0, 2 KOs) vs Natalie Gonzalez 109.9 pounds (6-0, 1 KO)
Elvis Rodriguez 141.8 pounds (7-0-1, 7 KOs) vs Dennis Okoth 141.5 pounds (4-3-1, 2 KOs)
Isaac Dogboe 126 pounds (20-2, 14 KOs) vs Chris Avalos 125.9 pounds (27-7, 20 KOs)
Genc Pilana 167.3 pounds (8-1-1, 4 KOs) vs Raphael Igbokwe 165 pounds (14-2, 6 KOs)
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.”
By: Hans Themistode
Former WBO featherweight world champion Oscar Valdez was well on his way to an all Mexican showdown against WBC super featherweight belt holder Miguel Berchelt.
Those plans however, went by the wayside the moment COVID-19 came knocking. The two are still on course to meet later on this year, but Valdez will first be given the opportunity to shake off the rust associated with a nine month layoff.
Super featherweight contender Jayson Velez will welcome Valdez to the ring for the first time in 2020. The two are scheduled to headline a Top Rank card at the MGM Grand Conference Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 21st.
For Velez, the spotlight has seldom, if ever, shined on his career. When he was given big time opportunities, he fumbled them away with mediocre performances. In a 2018 matchup against Ryan Garcia, Velez was blown out of the water as he lost a one sided unanimous decision. He did manage to bounce right back winning his next three straight, all before the final bell rang. But he once again found himself on the wrong end of the judges decision in his most recent ring outing against Jaime Arboleda.
In order to stop the bleeding that comes along with back to back losses, he’ll have to bite down on his mouth piece and stand up to the punching power of Valdez. But Velez won’t be the only one on the card who will have to withstand some heavy shots coming from the other side of the ring.
Middleweight prospect Edgar Berlanga will be looking to use his opponents last name as an indication as to where he wants to send him once he connects with a right hand in the co main event as he takes on Eric Moon.
Berlanga has not only won every single one of his fights inside the distance, but he has yet to see the beginning of the second round. He’ll look to make it 14 first round finishes in a row on July 21st.
The knockout streak might be impressive, but for the undefeated prospect, he isn’t letting it get to his head.
“I’ve not really changed much about training because of the knockout streak,” said Berlanga via a Top Rank press release. “Training is all about improving as a boxer. I had a good amateur career, and that comes from being a good technical boxer. My focus in training has been to continue to improve my skills under my trainer, Andre Rozier, and Team Havoc.”
The action packed card begins at 8 PM ET on ESPN on July 27th.
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.”