Unbeaten Oscar Valdez underscored his growing reputation on Saturday night when he starched Miguel Berchelt with a sensational left-hook which had some fans concerned as Berchalt remained prone on the canvas for several minutes.
Mexico’s Valdez scored the stunning finish with just one second remaining on the clock of the tenth round of the contest for the WBC super-featherweight title in Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Hotel in a fight which very much lived up to the pre-fight hype between the compatriots.
Berchalt had already hit the canvas on two occasions before Valdez landed the fight-ending left hook square to Berchalt’s chin, immediately pole-axing him before he crumpled face-first to the mat.
Valdez’s celebrations looked for a moment to have turned sour after Berchelt – who was bleeding from both of his nostrils – remained unconscious for more than two minutes before he was eventually helped to his feet by medical staff.
And for Valdez, the result of the fight – and the thunderous shot which prompted the end of the bout – was a message to anyone who had the temerity to doubt his skills.
“I have a list of people who doubted me,” said Valdez afterwards. “I proved them wrong.
“There is nothing better in life than proving people wrong. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.“
Boxing is so demented.. that fight should have been stopped 15 power punches before
— mdw (@unfollowmike) February 21, 2021
say what you will, but in any fight between 2 Mexican boxers there’ll always be something special. 🔥🥊🇲🇽
— vaquerodepiedra (@vaquerodepiedra) February 21, 2021
That guy may collapse in the back and never be the same again and it’s going to be the NASC that’s going to have blood on their hands with this one. Berchelt was OUT on his feet in the 4th and it should have stopped there. He will NEVER be the same again.
— pascalf1 (@pascalf1) February 21, 2021
Valdez added another world title to his collection with the win after the former featherweight world champ opted to move up a division in 2019 following six defences of his title – one of which came about via decision after he rallied back to win after breaking his jaw early in a fight.
“I want to wish the best to my friend [Miguel Berchelt]. I am sure he can be world champion again because he is a true warrior – I only have respect for him,” Valdez wrote on Instagram on Sunday afternoon, via translation.
“I hope you return to the ring soon, champion. Speedy recovery.”
Berchelt, a long-time titleholder at 130lbs, dropped to 37-2 after losing for the first time in nearly seven years following seven successful title defences.
The sole other defeat of his career, against Luis Eduardo Florez in 2014, also came after a left-hook.
The writing appeared to be on the wall for Berchelt after the ninth, when his corner asked him between rounds if he wanted to stop the fight.
Around three or so minutes later, they may well have been wishing that their fighter had heeded his corner’s advice.