Oscar Valdez defeated Miguel Berchelt via a 10th-round KO to win the WBC junior lightweight championship. Valdez landed the knockout blow seconds before the end of the 10th round.
Valdez vacated his WBO featherweight belt to move up in weight to begin a quest for another belt in a different weight class. Valdez looked sharp in his first championship fight in the 130-pound division. There was a lot on the line in this bout that ranged far beyond winning a championship. Berchelt and Valdez were fighting for Mexican supremacy and the ability to call themselves the best Mexican junior lightweight in the world.
The start of the fight was fairly even and competitive. Valdez took an early lead in the fourth round when he had Berchelt hurt towards the end of the round. Berchelt received the same amount of punishment against Valdez in round five and he fought on unsteady legs. Berchelt managed to return back to his old form and he stole the next two rounds, six and seven, from Valdez. Even when Valdez had Berchelt in peril, Berchelt showed that he had a strong chin, and he was willing to fight through the barrage of punches he absorbed.
Ultimately, Valdez was able to reclaim the momentum of the fight in the 10th round and Berchelt received too much damage. Even though Berchelt was behind on the scorecards, he still fought extremely hard and he tried to walk Valdez down. Towards the end of the 10th, Berchelt was moving forward and swinging for the fences when Valdez dodged a winging punch, and he landed a vicious left hook of his own. Berchelt fell to the canvas face-first and he lied stiff for several minutes when he received medical attention.
It was a scary scene in the moments after the fight because Berchelt was not moving, and he was out cold. Eventually, he was able to move his extremities and he was helped up by the medical personnel on hand. Berchelt was rushed to the hospital after the fight to make sure his injuries were tended to.
Now that Valdez is the newly minted WBC junior lightweight champion, he has plenty of options waiting for him. It is unlikely that he will look to unify in his next bout, but possible unification bouts could be on the horizon for him down the road. Even a rematch against Berchelt is not out of the realm of possibility for Valdez as the champion.