This past Saturday night, at the MGM Grand's Conference Center in Las Vegas, Oscar Valdez became a two-division world champion when he scored a sensational one-punch knockout of heavily favored Miguel Berchelt to capture the WBC super featherweight title.
Valdez dropped Berchelt in the fourth, once again in the ninth, and then knocked him out cold in the tenth.
Frank Espinoza, manager of Valdez, believes his boxer greatly improved since jumping from Manny Robles to new head trainer Eddy Reynoso, who currently works with several top fighters.
“Bringing Eddy in as a trainer was done in the interest of career longevity for Oscar,” stated Espinoza.
“I’ve been with Oscar since his first fight and he was more of an offensive minded fighter and was getting hit more. It was after getting his jaw broken against Scott Quigg that Oscar's dad and myself decided we had to make a change. I then contacted Eddy Reynoso. With Eddy he’s evolved into a boxer puncher who’s greatly improved his defense and because of that, he will have a longer career.
“Joining Eddy and his team of elite fighters also inspired and motivated Oscar. The team is made up of fighters like Canelo Alvarez. Canelo has been through this kind of spotlight and he’s always giving Oscar advice and he’s always there for him. He had an amazing camp and against all odds, he knocked out the previously unstoppable Miguel Berchelt and he did it ferociously and it went viral and now everyone’s talking about him.”
For his part, Valdez recognized the role his team played in winning this career defining fight.
“I want to thank my trainer Eddy Reynoso, my father who was there from the beginning and my manager Frank Espinoza. This was a team effort and we have a great team. We all played a role in this,” Valdez stated.
"Everything was very smooth. I’m very proud of everyone on this team and very happy. We’re going to keep working together to put up great fights in the future. This team dynamic works and I’m extremely happy right now.
“I put faith in myself, I asked god for his favor, trained hard and now we’re here. People were predicting that I would get knocked out. Boxing analysts and people on social media didn’t give me much of a chance. I started using it as motivation. The lesson is, don’t listen to those that don’t believe in you or else you’ll start believing them. With faith in yourself, discipline and god you can achieve anything you want.”
For now, Oscar just wants to return to his family in Sonora. “I trained for over a year to fight Berchelt. Right now I just want to go home and hug my family."
For Espinoza, 2021 is looking more promising than 2020.
“2020 was a rough year. Oscar’s fight vs. Berchelt was cancelled due to Berchelt getting COVID. I broke my ankle and I lost my mom. My mother was always a big supporter of my career as a manager. She would’ve been so happy for me. This win means a lot to our team and it means a lot to me. I’m proud of Oscar and the way he performed against Berchelt. It’s an achievement for the whole team," Espinoza said.