All good things must come to an end and tonight WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt (37-2, 33 KOs) was beaten by the faster, stronger, and more skilled Oscar Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs) in losing by a 10th round knockout on Saturday night at ‘The Bubbble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 29-year-old Berchelt came into the 10th round in bad shape, having been knocked down in the 9th and hurt again in the 4th.
With Berchelt with nothing left in the tank, Valdez put the finishing touch on his win by landing a monstrous left hook to the head that put the champion down face-first on the canvas where he laid there badly hurt. As one would expect, the match was promptly stopped by referee Russell Mora immediately.
In hindsight, the fight should have been stopped by Berchelt’s corner after the ninth round because there was no way that he could wind the fight, as he was too far behind to win aside from getting a knockout.
But you could tell that Berchelt wasn’t going to be able to score a come from behind knockout because he was exhausted, weight drained, and fighting like a punch-drunk fighter.
‘El Alacran’ Berchelt had taken way too much punishment through the first nine rounds for him to have a shot at knocking out Valdez to pull out the victory in round 10 through 12.
It was a shocking victory for Valdez, who came into the contest as a 3 to 1 underdog. Valdez’s promoter Bob Arum tried to warn the boxing public that he had a real chance of beating Berchelt, and he turned out to be right about that.
Berchelt wasn’t the same fighter tonight that he’d been four years ago when he unseated WBC 130-lb champion, Francisco Vargas in stopping him in the 11th round in their first fight in 2017.
In the last few years, Berchelt has put on a lot of size in filling out. He’s now 29, and the weight is too hard for him to make it comfortably without draining him.
Last Friday after the weigh-in, Max Kellerman of ESPN commented how Berchelt was wolfing down food. Berchelt sounded defensive about it when asked, but it was obvious that he had gone through a lot to get down to the 130-lb limit for the fight.
While some fighters can get away with draining down, but not all of them, unfortunately. When it goes back for boxers that have gotten too big for a particular division, you see them fighting in a weakened stage like we saw tonight with Berchelt.