LAS VEGAS — The worst night of Miguel Berchelt’s career at least ended with good news.
Cancun’s Berchelt was granted a clean bill of health and released from the hospital after being held for observation following a frightening knockout loss at the hands of countryman Oscar Valdez. A left hook rendered Berchelt unconscious at the end of the 10th round as the title changed hands Saturday evening at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Immediate medical attention was granted to Berchelt, who was placed flat on his back where he remained for several minutes before being seated upright and eventually helped out of the ring.
Berchelt was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was sent to ICU for observation. A CT scan came back clean, allowing him to return to his hotel room.
Valdez (29-0, 23KOs) entered as a considerable underdog but turned in a masterclass performance. The two-time Mexican Olympian and former WBO featherweight titlist scored three knockdowns on the night, the last of which was a perfectly timed left hook which left Berchelt on his feet as he pitched forward before crumbling face first to the canvas.
With the win, Valdez becomes a two-division titlist in claiming the WBC junior lightweight belt. The 30 year old from Southern California by way of Nogales, Mexico previously made six defenses of the WBO featherweight belt which he held for three years before moving up in weight in 2019.
Berchelt made six successful defenses prior to Saturday, having held the belt since an 11th round stoppage of unbeaten Francisco Vargas in Jan. 2017. All but one fight over the course of his four-plus year reign ended inside the distance. In his previous title defense, Berchelt scored a one-sided 4th round stoppage of former secondary titlist Jason Sosa in Nov. 2019.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox