Like the rest of us, Andre Ward was very impressed with Oscar Valdez's performance on Saturday night. Valdez (29-0) got off to an early lead against Miguel Berchelt (38-2) and scored knockdowns in the 4th and 9th round before ending the fight with a highlight reel knockout in the 10th round.
Berchelt opened up as a 4-1 favorite against Valdez but short of a mini rally in the 5th and 6th rounds, Valdez was in control for most of the highly anticipated fight that served as an ESPN main event.
After the fight Ward was asked for his thoughts on Valdez's performance by Fighthype.com's Sean Zittel.
"It is weird because nobody saw him knocking Berchelt out like that but we have seen this movie before. You don't know if a guy can put it together but when it happens it is like, 'okay I have seen this movie before.' I am just happy for Valdez. You got concerns about the size difference. That was real. You wonder what kind of fight Valdez is going to fight but I never believed that it was going to toe the line from the very first round. I just didn't believe that. I think that sometimes boxing people make the mistake of believing it is one or the other. Either he is going to box the whole time or he is going to slug but you can actually do both," said Ward.
Many boxing pundits had concerns about Valdez's most recent fights where he was touched up more often than he had been during his featherweight run. It is one thing to get hit clean by the lower level competition Valdez had faced at 130 pounds prior to the fight but getting caught in the same manner by the heavy handed Berchelt likely wouldn't end well for the Sonora, Mexico native.
Ward said that Valdez was able to navigate the fight at a very high level and deftly moved between boxing and banging.
"You just have to negotiate the difference between when to fight and when to box. You didn't know if Valdez was going to do that but he did that," said Ward.