Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs) scored a shot heard round the world style KO over Miguel Berchelt that is immediately considered a career-defining performance and knockout of the year contender.
The epic bout was the headliner of Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Saturday night. The event took place inside the conference center bubble at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas where the promotion has held court throughout the pandemic.
“There’s nothing better in life than proving people wrong,” said Valdez. “have a list of people who doubted me. My idols (including Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.) doubted me.
“Boxing analysts doubted me. They said Berchelt was going to knock me out. I have a message to everybody: Don’t’ let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do.”
Valdez, a two-time Olympian, came into the fight as a heavy underdog. However, he showed up to out class her belt every way possible. He delivered two knock downs before a juggernaut of a knockout in the 10th round.
The win earned Valdez the WBC junior lightweight world title in the main event.
Berchelt was making his seventh title defense and many elected him to be in a back and forth classic Mexican firefight with Valdez, the former featherweight titlist.
However, Valdez, who was the mandatory challenger, dominated the mostly one-sided fight.
“Oscar Valdez proved he is one of the great Mexican champions,” said Valdez’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, “an absolute masterpiece in the ring tonight.”
According to CompuBox, Valdez landed 149 of 534 punches and Berchelt connected with 99 of 447 punch attempts..
At the time of the stoppage, Valdez led 89-80, 88-81 and 87-82 on the judge’s scorecards.
“I’m so happy right now, I can almost do a back flip like Teofimo Lopez,” said Valdez. “I want to take this belt home, and I’m happy for that.”
“Any champion out there,” Valdez said. “I heard Shakur Stevenson wants to fight. Let’s do it. I just want to keep on fighting and give the fans what they want.”