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  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 shape.

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 steppingstone Velez.

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 this sport.”
 

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 board.
 

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.



 

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