Valdez Proves Naysayers Wrong,
KO’s Berchelt To Become WBC Super Feather Champ
By William Trillo
Photos: Mikey Williams - Top Rank via Getty Images
To say Super Featherweight Miguel Berchelt (37-2, 33
KO’s) never saw what hit him would be a huge misnomer.
The soon to be dethroned Champion saw it and tasted it,
over and over again. Oscar Valdez (29-0, 23 KO’s), came
into the ring as the underdog but by the time round four
was complete it was pretty clear who was delivering the
goods. Valdez was confident and dominant. This was the
fight, just as he pictured it.
Sticking and moving through the first three rounds
Valdez was in complete control and landing at will.
Berchelt was doing little if anything at all. But as
many boxing fans knew, this would not be uncommon for
Berchelt to start slowly. Surely as the rounds ensued
Berchelt would catch up with Valdez, overpower him and
slow him down…right?
On the contrary, in round four Valdez uncorked a left
hand that hit Berchelt on the side of his head. That
punch sent Berchelt into a rubber legged quiver.
Eventually, Berchelt would crumble under the pressure of
a relentless attack. As the round closed Berchelt
stumbled back to his corner, he was in awfully bad
Showing his champions heart Berchelt came out for round
five still showing signs of being buzzed, yet somehow he
was able to weather the storm and get through the round
on very shaky legs.
In round six it looked as though Valdez may have punched
himself out. Suddenly it was Berchelt who was on the
offensive. The champion began to land big shots on
Valdez. It appeared Berchelt had his legs back and now
was ready to dish out some punishment of his own.
Round seven was no different. Valdez was now one the
receiving end of Berchelt’s aggression. For all intents
and purposes it looked as though the tide was turning.
But as the last minute of round seven was ticking down,
Valdez regained his composure and started to once again
be quicker to the draw.
Now Valdez was back in control and in round eight there
was little or nothing Berchelt was able to do but eat
leather. Switching back and forth from Orthodox to
Southpaw Valdez was a relentless punching machine who
was landing blows with pinpoint accuracy.
In between rounds there were visible concerns from all
parties concerned. Everyone from the ref to his own
corner asked Berchelt if he was ready to continue. Of
course, the warrior wanted to go on and was ready for
the next round.
Round nine was a carbon copy of the previous round.
There was nothing Berchelt could do to get out of the
way of the Valdez attack. Somehow Berchelt kept coming
forward and was trying to land his now slow and clumsy
punches. Then, as the round was nearing its end Berchelt
threw two wide awkward punches out of desperation.
Valdez easily ducked them both then hit Berchelt with a
brutal left hand that had the champ out before he hit
the deck. The punch looked gruesome and sounded even
worse. There was no reason to count. Instead, there was
every reason to get the fallen champ medical attention
right away. It was a scary scene to see Berchelt laying
motionless in the center of the ring.
In the Valdez corner it was hugging and tears as they
embraced the new Champion Oscar Valdez. Oscar took the
role of the underdog, embraced it and then set out to
prove everyone wrong. And that is just what he did. In
spectacular fashion he walked out of “The Bubble” with
the World Boxing Council World Super Feather Title
strapped tightly around his waist.
On his near perfect performance Valdez stated, “There’s
nothing better in life than proving people wrong. I have
a list of people who doubted me. My idols doubted me.
Boxing analysts doubted me. They said Berchelt was going
to knock me out. I have a message to everybody: Don’t’
let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. I’m so
happy right now, I can almost do a backflip like Teofimo
Lopez. I want to take this belt home, and I’m happy for
that. Any champion out there… I heard Shakur Stevenson
wants to fight. Let’s do it. I just want to keep on
fighting and give the fans what they want.”
Top Ranks Bob Arum said of the new champion, “Oscar
Valdez proved he is one of the great Mexican champions.
An absolute masterpiece in the ring tonight.”
Super Featherweights Gabriel Flores Jr (20-0, 7 KO’s)
and Jayson Velez (29-8-1, 21 KO’s) stepped into the ring
in this semi-main event attraction looking to grab a bit
of the spotlight that was shining in Las Vegas. The
young up and comer Flores Jr. was hoping to make some
noise against the consummate journeyman and
Velez did pose a few problems early for the young
Flores, but that would not last long. As the bout was
just halfway over Flores threw a left hand to the temple
of Velez that put the Puerto Rican on wobbly legs and
down. Velez rose to shaky legs and made a valiant
attempt to continue but after a few punches hit their
mark he was down again. Not wasting any time, the ref
stopped the battle at the 1:47 mark of round six.
Flores was animated after the fight saying, “I sent a
statement that I’m ready for a world title. I hit him,
and he didn’t see the punch coming. That’s why he was so
hurt. I could’ve done it earlier. I was playing with my
food. My Trainer Gabriel Flores Sr. told me I just gotta
press it. Nothing was really going on those first five
rounds, to be honest. I was just feeling him out. I
would love to get the winner of Jamel Herring and Carl
Frampton. I’d love that. I’m going to keep on working,
and my performances are going to get better and better.”
Middleweight Esquiva Falcao (28-0, 20 KO’s) beat Artur
Akavov (20-4, 9 KO’s) into a state of double vision
forcing his corner to shut things down after the fourth
round. The fight was low on highlights but with the
victory the steady Falcao moves a step closer to a shot
at a belt. Officially the fight goes down as a TKO for
Falcoa after four.
Super Lightweight sensation Elvis Rodriguez (11-0-1, 10
KO’s) was given a particularly good test from Luis
Alberto Veron (18-3-2, 9 KO’s). Known for his surefire
KO power Rodriguez saw that power diffused by a very
crafty ring veteran. Over the eight round affair Elvis
was able to put good leather on Veron but was unable to
finish the show with a knockout. Rodriguez was awarded a
unanimous decision with scores all in his favor, 78-74 &
79-73 x 2.
Reflecting on his fight Elvis said, “This was my first
scheduled eight-round fight, and I actually think I got
a lot of good experience. Each fight, you acquire
something different, and for this fight, I think the
experience of going the rounds actually helped me out.
It’s a great experience going the full eight rounds.
It’s back to the gym to work on several things,
specifically I know I needed to let my hands go a little
more. When I did do that, I was able to hurt him. But in
the end, I think it was a great experience. He’s a
natural welterweight. He’s never been stopped, so I knew
it would be a tough challenge, but you know I will go
back to the gym and work harder to continue to grow in
The young Welterweight Xander Zayas (7-0, 5 KO’s) looked
sharp against the Philly tough James Martin (6-2) in
this six round scrap. Zayas was in control over the
course of the action but Martin proved to be game as he
took everything the 18 year old prodigy dished out.
Final scores all in favor of Zayas read 60-54 across the
After his victory Xander said, “I’m going to go back to
the drawing board. I did some things well in there, but
I still have a lot of room for improvement. The rounds
will serve me well as I continue to develop. As a young
fighter, you need these types of fights. I haven’t been
out of the first round in nearly a year, so for me to
get six rounds in, that was important.”
Super Lightweight Omar Rosario (3-0, 1 KO) looked
impressive with a dominant performance over Uriel
Villanueva (1-1). Rosario is one to keep an eye on. Left
hooks to the body in round two were too much for
Villanueva to overcome. Rosario dropped his prey with
the first left hook and closed the show with the same
shot to the body at the 2:38 mark of round two.
Middleweight Javier Martinez (3-0, 1) hit Billy Wagner
(3-2, 1 KO) with a right hand early in round one that
stiffened the young fighters legs. Five punches later
Martinez was pummeling Wagner on the ropes and the ref
halted the battle at the 1:51 mark of the first.