Monday, September 19, 2011

Keys to Victory: Alex Berrios vs. Joseph Valtellini

Friday Night Fights will hold its second of back-to-back events on Friday September 23rd. The event will feature a bout between the number nine (Alex Berrios) and ten (Joseph Valtellini) ranked fighters on Muay Thai Authority's North American rankings. The winner of the bout can easily claim to be the top 165-175 lb fighter on the east coast. The bout should prove to be very exciting as it is an interesting style match-up between the very explosive Joseph Valtellini and the very technical Alex Berrios. Both fighters will have to exploit any advantage they can find in order to be victorious and each fighter will have their keys to victory.

Berrios normally fights at 175 lbs, but for his fight for Valtellini he is dropping down to 165 lbs. That coupled with his excellent clinch game will be very important in this bout. Valtellini is used to pushing the pace and being the aggressor in the ring, but with Berrios being the bigger fighter in the ring, it might be harder for Valtellini to accomplish this. Berrios technique is top notch and not only does he throw his strikes with great technique he also has pin point accuracy. Odds are that every shot he throws is going to hit on its mark. There is no crazy blitzes with wild punches when Berrios is on the attack, everything is calculated to maximize the attack. Berrios has faced fighters that like to press the action in Anthony Nieves and Rigel Balsamico and Berrios was victorious against both fighters. He defeated Nieves via unanimous decision and Balsamico via (T)KO.

Alex Berrios keys to victory:
  • Berrios needs to use his size advantage, especially in the clinch
  • Slow down the fight and don't allow Valtellini to unload flurries, working behind a solid jab or push kick to keep him at bay is important
  • Make Valtellini fight backing up, don't wait for him to move in, Berrios needs to move into him and meet him in the middle
Enough can't be said about Valtellini's explosiveness and power, he hits like a Mack Truck and looks to finish fights. Valtellini needs to set the tone of the fight early on by pressing and finding a home for his powerful strikes. Moving forward is important, but making sure he does not fight too long in the clinch is just as crucial. Berrios will have a size advantage when they clinch and he possesses very good knees from the clinch. Valtellini knows how to finish and if the opportunity arises he will look to capitalize, but he can't attack in a straight line as Berrios accuracy is deadly and if he does so it will be easy pickings for Berrios to connect. Angles will be important for Valtellini as he uses his speed to move in and out as he presses the action. As he has shown in all four of his pro fights, he can put you to sleep with the power he packs and when he feels he has you on the ropes he is relentless.

Joseph Valtellini keys to victory:
  • Press the action, but he can't attack in a straight line, angles are key when he moves in to avoid Berrios accurate strikes
  • Pressing the action he will basically be walking into Berrios who will likely look to slow him down by clinching, fighting in the clinch with the bigger Berrios must be avoided as it slows the fight down and Berrios possesses excellent knees in the clinch
  • Turn it into a dog fight, Valtellini can't let Berrios work his technique he has to turn this into a rockem sockem type fight, which will make it easier for him to land one of his killer shots
This will be one of the most exciting fights featuring two North American fighters that we will have a chance to witness this year. It is anyone's guess who will win this fight, you might as well flip a coin and call it in the air. The only thing that is certain is that one of the two fighters will continue to climb the North American ladder while the other will take a detour.
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