Berchelt – Valdez – live action from Las Vegas

Former WBO 126-lb champion Oscar Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs) was too fast and skilled for WBC super featherweight champion Miguel ‘El Alacran’ Berchelt (37-2, 33 KOs) in knocking him out in the 10th round in a three-knockdown performance in ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.Berchelt looked badly weight drained throughout the contest, and paid for it in the fourth, and hurt by Valdez with a shot that knocked him into the ropes for what was scored as a knockdown.

Although Berchelt was able to come back in rounds six, seven, and eight, Valdez got his second wind in the ninth and dropped him. In the tenth, Valdez knocked Berchelt out with a left hand that toppled him over.

In the co-feature bout, undefeated junior lightweight Gabriel Flores Jr. (20-0, 7 KOs) looked sensational with a 6th round knockout over Jayson Velez (29-8-1, 21 KOs).

The 20-year-old Stockton, California native Flores Jr, 20, knocked Velez down in the sixth and then finished him after the action resumed. Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight at 1:47 of the round.

2012 Olympian Esquiva Falcao (28-0, 20 KOs) beat two-time middleweight world title challenger Artur Akavov (20-4, 9 KOs) by a fourth-round stoppage. The fight was stopped after the 35-year-old Akavov sustained a broken nose and was unable to continue.

Early results:

  • Elvis Rodriguez defeated Luis Alberto Veron by an eight-round unanimous decision. The scores were as follows 78-74, 79-73, 79-73. The 25-year-old southpaw Rodriguez (11-0-1, 10 KOs) saw his eight-fight knockout streak end.
  • 18-year-old welterweight Xander Zayas beat James Martin by a six-round decision. Scores: 60-54, 60-54, 60-54. Martin was able to take the power of Zayas (7-0, 5 KOs), which impressive.
  • Javier Martinez beat Billy Wagner by a 1st round knockout. The fight was stopped at the 1:51 mark.
  • Omar Rosari defeated Uriel Villanueva by a second knockout.

Preview:

Miguel Berchelt defends against Oscar Valdez tonight in a fight that expected to be a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate on ESPN and ESPN+ in a match-up behind closed doors inside ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) will have his WBC 130-lb title at stake against his hungry challenger Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) in a fight that many boxing fans view as a toss-up despite the fact that Miguel is a slight favorite.

Undefeated super featherweight Gabriel Flores Jr (19-0, 6 KOs) will be taking on the highly experienced Jayson Valdez (29-7-1, 21 KOs) in the chief support bout. The 20-year-old Flores Jr has a lot of talent, but not much in the way of punching power.

Boxing fans will get to judge for themselves how talented Berchelt is because he’s someone that Top Rank has been high on for years, but he’s not had good enough competition until now to really test him and give him some badly needed notoriety.

If Berchelt wins this fight, Bob Arum says he wants to match him against Shakur Stevenson soon. Arum believes that Stevenson will beat Berchelt.

Many boxing fans would disagree with Arum on that because Stevenson isn’t much of a puncher, and he would have to develop his man-strength in a hurry for him not to fall victim to Berchelt.

Valdez is a live dog in this fight tonight, and it won’t be surprising if he figures out Berchelt’s style and beats him. It won’t be easy but it’s possible. Miguel Roman gave Berchelt a lot of trouble, as did Takashi Miura.

For Valdez to have a shot at beating Berchelt, he’s going to need to be able to take the huge shots that he’ll be landing.

With any fighter, if someone can take their power and stay in there with them to land their own shots, they have a chance at winning. In Valdez’s case, it’s not a good sign that he’s been hurt in four out of his last seven fights.