HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Francisco Vargas vs. Miguel Berchelt, Takashi Miura vs. Mickey Roman
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night HBO will present two fights on their Boxing After Dark Series to run against the Showtime card that features a rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton.
Saturday’s card will feature two bouts in the Super Featherweight Division live from the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. Golden Boy Promotions will be the lead promoter on this event.
The two bouts on the card will be a WBC Junior Lightweight Title fight between Francisco Vargas and challenger Miguel Berchelt. The co-main event of the evening will be between Takashi Miura and Miguel “Mickey” Roman in a WBC Junior Lightweight Title eliminator.
The following is a preview of both televised bouts.
Takashi Miura (30-3-2) vs. Mickey Roman (56-11); Junior Lightweight
This should be a fan friendly fight and both boxers are known for their power. The winner of this bout will likely face the winner of the main event in the near future.
Miura has twenty three stoppage wins and two stoppage losses. Roman has been on a tear recently and has forty three stoppage wins and only one stoppage loss, including six straight wins by stoppage. However, Roman did not experience a lot of success early on in his career as evident in his eleven total losses.
Miura will be one year older than Roman, and will also be about an inch and a half taller. Miura is a southpaw and Roman fights out of an orthodox stance so we have a fight that will likely feature numerous clashing of heads.
Roman, who hasn’t lost since 2012, has defeated the likes of Edgar Puerta, Daniel Ponce De Leon, and Juan Carlos Salgado. However, he usually loses when he takes a step up in competition and has lost to the likes of Antonio DeMarco, Jonathan Victor Barros, Miguel Beltran, Antonio Escalante, Fernando Beltran, Javier Fortuna and other less descript opponents.
Miura has losses to Francisco Vargas, Takashi Uchiyama, and Yusuke Kobori. He has defeated the likes of Billy Dib, Edgar Puerta, Sergio Thompson, Gamaliel Diaz, and Yoshimitsu Yashiro.
At first glance this looks like a fight that Miura should win easily, but you can’t discount the success that Roman has had recently and his current string of stoppage victories. Miura should still be considered the favorite, but Roman will make it a tough decision for him to win.
Francisco Vargas (23-0) vs. Miguel Berchelt (30-1); WBC Junior Lightweight Title
This has the potential to be a barn burner and an early candidate for fight of the year.
Vargas, the current WBC Junior Lightweight Champion, is coming off of a majority draw in a crowd pleasing fight with the rugged Orlando Salido. Vargas only fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015, but he made his first fight in 2017 a tough one.
Vargas has a deep amateur background and represented Mexico in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Berchelt is a three time Mexican National Boxing Champion as an amateur.
They both have power in their hands. Berchelt has twenty seven stoppage wins and his past four fights have come by stoppage. Vargas has seventeen stoppage victories and three of his past four fights resulted in a stoppage win.
Berchelt will be seven years younger than Vargas on fight night and will also have a one inch height advantage and about a two inch reach advantage. Berchelt has also been more active than Vargas, he fought twice in 2016 and four times in 2015.
The difference between Vargas and Berchelt becomes most evident when comparing their professional resumes. Saturday will only be Berchelt’s second fight outside of Mexico as a professional. His notable victories include Suriya Tatakhun, Sergio Puente, Rene Gonzalez, and Oliver Flores. His lone loss was to Luis Eduardo Florez.
Vargas has defeated the likes of Takashi Miura, Will Tomlinson, Juan Manuel Lopez, Abner Cotto, Jerry Belmontes, and Brandon Bennett.
This is an interesting matchup, especially since Berchelt has some heavy power in his hands and is a three time Mexican National Champion that has very limited exposure to the American audience. But, Vargas is the better tested fighter and is still in the midst of his prime.
It’s possible that Vargas will be overlooking Berchelt and will be looking forward to his rematch with Orlando Salido, but it appears unlikely that Berchelt will walk away with an upset victory.
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