- Oscar Valdez knocked out Miguel Berchelt on Saturday night to win the WBC junior lightweight title.
- Valdez beat Berchelt as the +270 betting underdog at William Hill.
- The former Olympic boxer outlanded Berchelt 149-99 in total punches and was leading comfortably on all scorecards when the fight was stopped.
The weekend was full of big bouts in the fight industry and except for Adrien Broner who got a controversial victory over Jovanie Santiago, the big winners on Saturday night were the bettors who backed the underdogs.
Derrick Lewis upset Curtis Blaydes at the main event of UFC Vegas 19 as a +325 underdog at Bovada. Meanwhile, out in London, David Avanesyan won the European welterweight title against Joshy Kelly as a slight +165 betting underdog at Bet465. Then there was Oscar Valdez.
Knockout of the Year?
— Gorilla Productions (@GPboxing) February 21, 2021
Valdez produced boxing’s early Knockout of the Year candidate when he flattened Miguel Berchelt to win the WBC junior lightweight title on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Paradise, Nevada. And he did so as the heavy betting underdog heading to the fight.
Berchelt was listed as the -340 betting favorite at William Hill just before the fight while Valdez came back at +270. Despite the disparity in odds, many expected the fight to be a back-and-forth war between two Mexican champions. On Saturday night however, there was only one fighter dictating the fight: Oscar Valdez.
The former WBO featherweight champion and Olympic boxer outlanded Berchelt 149-99 in total punches, scored two knockdowns, and was leading comfortably on all scorecards 89-80, 88-81, and 87-82 when the bout was stopped. The end came in the final second (2:59) of the 10th when he caught the forwarding Berchelt with a clean left hook that put the champion to sleep.
Berchelt lay on the floor for several minutes after the knockout and he was taken to a hospital for a CT scan, which later revealed a positive result for the Mexican. However, the belt has now changed hands and Valdez isn’t just a two-division world champion now, his backers earned big at the best boxing betting sites on Saturday night.
Brilliant Fight by Valdez
In a knockout for the ages, Oscar Valdez and Eddy Reynoso put together a brilliant plan to topple a physically superior fighter. After two years of frustrating results, everything came together in a magical night in the ring. My column: https://t.co/c4BUoiPacs pic.twitter.com/EaWxNC7Puk
— adam abramowitz (@snboxing) February 21, 2021
Trainer Eddy Reynoso devised an excellent plan and Valdez fought a brilliant fight to defeat an opponent who was physically superior and who was literally cleaning up the division by knocking out one opponent after another.
Berchelt had not lost since 2014 when he suffered a shock first round loss to Luis Eduardo Flores. He had won 17 consecutive bouts, 16 via stoppage although one of those was overturned to a no-contest but only because it wasn’t sanctioned by Mexico’s boxing body due to the pandemic.
Though undefeated, Valdez was facing the toughest opponent of his professional boxing career. But he used his skill to neutralize Berchelt’s aggression. Valdez darted in and out with the jab then surprised Berchelt with with the left hook over the top. Berchelt tried to counter with his power shots but was dumbfounded by Valdez’s speed and skill.
By the third round Berchelt’s plan was gone and he was left chasing Valdez, often lunging forward, wide open just to catch his opponent. It was that style that led to the fight-ending knockout. And while Berchelt had his moments during the fight, he was unable to sustain a consistent offense. He will now have to go back to the drawing board while Valdez basks in his glory and plots his next move.