Three Takeaways from this Weekend
By: Jonah Dylan
After a weekend that featured barely any fights, it was – in theory – nice to see so many fights this past weekend. Yes, the fights weren’t necessarily great, and we didn’t have any superstars in action, but at least it was something. At least there were choices if you didn’t like what you were watching. Whether or not it was particularly important, a lot of stuff happened. So let’s talk about it.
1. We’ve been underrating Daniel Dubois. A lot.
First of all, seeing two legit undefeated prospects fight each other was great, and it’s something that almost never happens, especially in the United States (speaking of heavyweight prospects, Jermaine Franklin is nowhere near Dubois and got away with an absolute robbery decision against Jerry Forrest on Friday night). Dubois was favored against Nathan Gorman, but we didn’t really know much about either guy, and there were a lot of people who picked Gorman to win the fight.
It was never really close. Gorman was cut in two places and you could tell it was bothering him, but Dubois didn’t just use his power. He boxed Gorman and consistently hit him with clean shots before finishing him in the fifth round. Before this fight, both Dubois and Gorman had been doing pretty much the same thing and fighting washed up guys who had no business being in a boxing ring. Now, Dubois has a legit win on his record, which is more than most prospects can say.
It’ll be really interesting to see what Frank Warren does with Dubois moving forward. No one is suggesting he’s ready for top-level guys yet, but this was a major step-up and he could see himself in the world title mix sooner rather than later. I’d like to see him in with a top-10 guy in the near future.
2. Shakur Stevenson is ready for a title fight
Or, as ready as he’ll ever be. Watching him knock out no-hopers is a useless exercise at this point. After Stevenson dominated a respectable opponent in Christopher Diaz, it was clear his time as a prospect had come to an end. If the point of Saturday’s fight was just to headline and fight at home, fine. But there’s no reason for him to do it again.
So who should he fight? Leo Santa Cruz is with PBC, and Gary Russell has already made his annual appearance and probably won’t be heard from until next April or May. That leaves Josh Warrington and Oscar Valdez.
Warrington just escaped with a very close decision in an ugly fight with Kid Galahad, but on the surface he might have some difficulty finding opponents in the near future. He’s with Frank Warren and his fights stream on ESPN+, so it’s realistic that Warren and Bob Arum could get together to make this fight. It’d be a really interesting style matchup for Stevenson, who throws lots of combinations and has elite speed. Warrington has almost no power but just overwhelms guys with his work rate. Stevenson would probably be favored here, but Warrington has been the underdog for two of his three world title fights, and that hasn’t been a problem.
Valdez hasn’t committed to staying in the featherweight division, and honestly I think he would rather fight Carl Frampton than Stevenson. As I’ve said before, it makes no sense to me why Frampton would get a title shot before Stevenson, considering he just lost a clear decision to Warrington in December. He’d probably lose to Valdez, too. Stevenson-Valdez would be a little less interesting than Stevenson-Warrington, if only because Valdez has been fighting with an extremely cautious style since breaking his jaw and will probably be moving up after the fight regardless. Let’s make Stevenson-Warrington in the UK and see what happens.
3. It’s tough to figure out what to make of the junior featherweights
Rey Vargas outpointed Tomoki Kameda on Saturday to keep his WBC strap, but the fans weren’t exactly thrilled with Vargas’ cautious performance. He’s a really interesting fighter. On one hand, he can always use his height and reach advantages to win decisions, but once in a while he chooses to engage and hasn’t been perfect, like when he got dropped in the second round of his last fight. On Saturday, Kameda wanted a war, but Vargas didn’t give it to him and stayed calm on the outside.
This makes me think Vargas against WBO titleholder Emanuel Navarrete would be a very intriguing matchup. In both fights against Isaac Dogboe, Navarette used his height and reach to land a barrage of uppercuts and stop Dogboe from ever getting close to him. I feel like we really don’t know anything about Navarrete until he fights someone else, but a fight down the line with Vargas would be a fascinating matchup.
Then there’s unified WBA/IBF titleholder Daniel Roman. You probably have to consider him the best in the division due to his win over T.J. Doheny in their FOTY contender in April, but I’m not sure where he goes next. He has to make a mandatory next but has said he’d like to unify against Vargas, which would be a quality fight for three belts. I’d rather see Vargas test himself against Navarrete, but Navarrete is with Top Rank and probably won’t be going anywhere near any DAZN guys for a while. Then again, this is what we said about Jose Ramirez, so maybe it’s possible. One can hope.
Follow me on Twitter @TheJonahDylan.
Rey Vargas Overcomes Tomoki Kameda’s Early Assault to Defend Super Bantamweight title
By Robert Aaron Contreras
On Saturday, super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas (34-0, 22 KO) fought off his toughest and most experienced title challenger to date, former beltholder Tomoki Kameda (36-3, 20 KO).
Three identical scores of 117-110 were met with boos from the crowd in Carson, California but Vargas overcame an early assault from his foe, adjusting in the middle stages to take advantage of his incredible size, and keep Kameda at bay to earn a justifiable unanimous decision.
“Kameda has a lot of experience but I fought an intelligent fight,” Vargas said in the ring. “The idea was to throw a lot of punches. I knew he was going to push forward but we made it a smart fight.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy
The first two rounds appeared to belong to Kameda, 28, of Osaka, Japan. He continually befuddled the much taller Vargas, 28, with snapping overhand rights and calculated pressure—never darting in from the same angle twice, never giving the defending champion a standstill target to tee off on.
Flickering body punches set up lethal overhand rights from Kameda. And Vargas, punching in reverse, was unable to establish any early offense.
Vargas moved forward with purpose in the third period. But Kameda wrapped up his man to avoid being caught in a corner. The sizable champion relied on his range, navigating the outside of the ring, tossing out a long jab and smashing hooks into Kameda’s gloves. The Japanese banger remained effective with vicious, arcing blows focused upstairs.
The action grew chippy in fourth frame. Though over the next three rounds Vargas would outwork his challenger. Kameda was a bully up close but tried jabbing with the Mexican beltholder, which Vargas was going to win every single time.
Now picking Kameda apart, Vargas stepped in with elongated jabs, pausing to interchange right and left uppercuts. He had stole the momentum back and a telling moment in Round 7 demonstrated the fight’s unfolding narrative as Vargas pumped out two consecutive jabs, followed by a straight right hand (one-one-two) that skid off the left side of Kameda’s wincing face.
More prodding left hands from Vargas caught Kameda off guard, who would eat the shots while cocking back right hands.
In Round 8, there continued the undulating pattern between both men’s contrasting gameplans. Kameda, commending the center of the ring, walked the champion down, but in too much of an uncreative, straightforward manner that Vargas routinely deterred with long hooks. The Japanese brawler didn’t let off, dipping and gluing himself at times to Vargas’ chest, delivering very short punches to the midsection.
Slinging uppercuts from Vargas were more eye-catching and surely gained more attention from the ringside judges. Kameda found no success on the inside in the ninth and tenth stanzas. Even when he made it inside he opted to clamp up Vargas.
Urgency was at its peak by the penultimate round. With the end in sight, Kameda came barreling in. And Vargas’ offense disappeared, avoiding any exchanges. Kameda clinched up with his opponent and wasn’t shy about punching out of the break.
Early in Round 12, Kameda drove Vargas to the ropes, and as referee Jerry Cantu was between the two, he stuffed two punches into Vargas. The champion played up the punches, but on principle, Cantu deducted a point from Kameda.
The few minutes remaining were made up of Kameda chasing down a roaming Vargas, chippy shots reining down from all over, desperation punches—the creative pressure that stole the first segment of the fight, gone; as was all hope.
Kameda conceded the night to Vargas. “I recognize Vargas,” he said, refuting the jeering audience members. “I respect him as a champion—he won.”
The hefty output from Vargas amounted to nearly 800 punches, landing 173 of 793 total shots (22 percent) while Kameda landed 133 of 394 total punches (34 percent). The Mexican slugger threw over 400 jabs. Kameda, less than 100.
Now the five-time defending champion, Vargas seems to have turned his attention to unified titlist Danny Roman, who was in attendance.
“Danny, you are here,” Vargas said. “We need to unify titles. Why not? I want three titles. We’re ready. The people want the fight. When Mexicans fight another Mexican, it’s a war.”
Ronny Rios shocks Diego de la Hoya by sixth-round knockout
After continually falling short at the world level, Ronny Rios (31-3, 15 KO) pulled off the biggest win of his career, upending rising star Diego de la Hoya (21-1, 10 KO). It was blood and guts, two-way action through five rounds but early in the sixth period, a two-punch combination from Rios sent de la Hoya to a knee, and despite rising to his feet, the hotshot prospect let the referee know he had had enough.
It was nothing short of a feeling-out round in the opening three minutes. By the second round, Rios loosened up, briefly buckling DLH’s knees with a winging right hand. De la Hoya stuffed a couple of his own right hands into the chin of Rios and the action picked up in both directions.
Both men traded in the center of the ring—another classic SoCal melee seemed imminent. Each relying on their own brand of box-fighting: Rios firing short, chopping blows; de la Hoya’s right and left hands flaring here and there from a longer range.
Rios, 29, was eager to stay on top of his man to open the third stand. He immediately let his weight carry him onto a overhand right. Some left digs to the body complimented the assault. So the 24-year-old de la Hoya, now battling a bloody nose in addition to his rabid veteran opponent, began putting his hands together: various right and left hands always preceding a sharp right uppercut.
The younger combatant continued to have success, stepping into a long jab, and doubling up on lead right crosses. His combinations flowed effortlessly, but Rios went to work—not as pretty
But punches still careening in from every angle: right hooks followed by a sweeping left.
The violence seemed to simmer down in the fifth period. Early on here, de la Hoya refused to engage except on his own terms. Rios shot in and DLH easily sprang backwards, away from danger. Then he would blind his man upstairs with an elongated jab; once Rios lowered his hand and raised his gloves to catch it, a right uppercut from de la Hoya found its target through the older man’s gloves.
Rios wouldn’t be denied for long. Some left hooks bounced off of de la Hoya’s head. And the prospect was forced to bite down on his mouthpiece as he returned fire.
Both men walked out for the fateful sixth round composed. After a quick exchange, Rios coiled up his body to throw a left body hook, and then a slashing right uppercut that crashed into de la Hoya’s head. The upstart went down and after speaking with referee Rudy Barragan, his undefeated ledger was gone.
Rios has now won back-to-back bouts. Since 2014, his only two losses were a title fight and title eliminator. Five of his previous six wins are by knockout.
According to DAZN’s punch stats, Rios connected on 131 of 316 total punches (42 percent) and de la Hoya landed 112 of 336 total punches (33 percent). Rios also delivered 52 parent of his power punches, compared to DLH’s 45 percent.
Vargas vs. Kameda: Previewing a Super Bantamweight Showcase
By Robert Aaron Contreras
Oscar de la Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions are fans of staging fight nights in California. They return to the “Golden State” in Carson, Calif., to air world championship fight on DAZN.
In the main event, undefeated beltholder Rey Vargas attempts to not only secure another title defense but also a strong claim as the best fighter in weight class. Diego de la Hoya, close family member to the promotional president, looks to regain his footing in the same division after career-long weight issues.
The entire stream kicks off at 7 p.m. ET while the premium action will begin around 9 p.m. ET.
Rey Vargas (33-0, 22 KO) vs. Tomoki Kameda (36-2, 20 KO), WBC Super Bantamweight Title
The WBC is under fire for its continued proliferation of “championships,” handing over a newly minted franchise belt to Canelo Alvarez. But on Saturday, the sanctioning body is at least unifying their super bantamweight crown between champion Vargas and the interim stakeholder Kameda, from Japan.
The weekend marks the fifth title defense for Vargas, who again prepares for the action under the helm of the legendary boxing guru Nacho Beristain. The Mexican trainer is known tuning up his men into offensive machines. And Vargas looked every bit up to that reputation in his title winning performance over Gavin McDonnell.
In 2017, Vargas pierced McDonnell up and down with rangy, lethal hooks. Listed at times as tall as 5’9”, he seemed to show hooks from one corner of the ring to the other. The Englishman would storm back in the latter half of the bout but the final round culminated in a violent two-way showing. Vargas settled for a majority-decision victory but he had clearly done enough for his new gold belt.
Despite a gaudy knockout total—22 in all—Vargas has not stopped a single opponent inside the distance since back in 2016. All four of his successful title defenses have come by unanimous decision. Repeatedly fighting the championship distance finally caught up to his in 2018. Against Azat Hovhannisyan, Vargas stumbled across the finish line. The defending champion was huffing for air early on, unable to land anything signifiant until the third round, and even gave up the last couple of rounds to his challenger. In the end, he was lucky to be read such wide scorecards. This included a ludicrous 118-110 in his favor from judge Kevin Morgan.
In Vargas’ most recent outing, he cruised to a comfortable win over Franklin Manzanilla. But he was not any more impressive: extended 12 rounds by an unheralded foe and hit the deck hard from a whizzing left hook across the chin.
It was picture-perfect shot that dropped Vargas. And Kameda is fully capable of duplicating such a feat. The Japanese did so in 2014 in the form of a murderous liver punch that crumbled Pungluang Sor Singyu, a former world champion.
Otherwise, Kameda may not have knocked out many other standout opponents, he has certainly competed among the very best.
The youngest brother among the Kameda clan (which is made up of two brothers, who also lifted world championships—he decisioned Paulus Ambunda for his first title in 2013. That was at bantamweight-proper (118 pounds) where he narrowly missed out on making a massive name for himself after two razor-thin losses in 2015 to Jamie McDonnell. That short rivalry gives the Japanese bodysnatcher experience against a towering opponent as he faces a lifetime super bantamweight in Vargas.
Six years later since swallowing the only two defeats of his career, Kameda is still somehow only 28. And now a two-divisional champ after claiming the WBC interim belt last November with a points win over Abigail Medina, a rabid puncher and European champion. Kameda quenched the flames that was his dangerous opponent with a sharp jab and calculated punch output, winning across the board at the storied Korakuen Hall in his native Japan.
Diego de la Hoya (21-0, 10 KO) vs. Ronny Rios (30-3, 14 KO), NABF Super Bantamweight Title
De la Hoya is returning to 122 pounds (at least he plans on it) after a stint in the hospital for dehydration the last time he cut to the limit. After a promising start to his career, these weight issues have forced the blue-chip prospect into inactivity, competing just twice over the last three years.
In April, he even tried his hand at the featherweight division where he took on the veteran Enrique Bernache. De la Hoya’s fans looked crisp as ever, and his lead left hook was there to meet Bernache any time he charged forward. But two headbutts, the second of which opened up Bernache’s forehead, ended the bout in just the second stanza. Both men were handed no-contests.
De la hoya, the 24-year-old first-cousin to Oscar, the Golden Boy himself, is back in prime position this weekend against Rios. All told, de la Hoya has backed up his privileged position with his fists. Save for that trouble boiling himself down to a division he has been cutting to since he was a teenager, De la Hoya has complimented his name with real skill.
Without a doubt the best win of his career so far was a decision over Randy Caballero, who was technically a former world champion and once another darling child of Golden Boy Promotions. De la Hoya undressed Caballero, picking him apart round after round.
With just one more win to show in the ensuing two years, the young De la Hoya has work to do this weekend. Good thing for him he is still closer to 20 than 30.
Rios, 29, fought for a world title in 2017 against none other than the show’s headliner, Rey Vargas. The Mexican champion was too big for Rios and pelted him around. But Rios was never broken, giving it back here and there, surviving all 12 rounds.
The defeat made it clear where Rios stands: just a small notch below world level. He holds wins over solid fighters like Jayson Velez and current beltholder Andrew Cancio. But the Compton-born mauler was dropped and stopped in 2014 against Robinson Castellanos and eventually rattled and undone by the aforementioned Hovhannisya, losing to the Armenian puncher by sixth-round knockout.
To bring his record to 2-2 over the last 24 months, Rios returned to form on the undercard of the Rungvisai-Estrada rematch, where he forced journeyman Daniel Olea’s corner to throw in the towel by the fifth period.
On Saturday, he serves as the promotional pushover, a stepping stone for De la Hoya. But Rios has yet to ever roll over on command.
Josue Vargas: Keeping The Hype Train Rolling
By: Hans Themistode
Super Lightweight prospect Josue Vargas (13-1, 8 KOs) has the confidence that is associated with a veteran in the sport of boxing. With four years and 14 professional fights under his belt, he seems ready for the next step in his career.
On Saturday July 13th, at the Prudential Center in Newark New Jersey, Vargas will once again have the opportunity to have his skills on full display. Earlier in the year he made it look easy against veteran fighter Adriano Ramirez. His upcoming opponent, Manuel Lopez, will seemingly provide him with a stiff test. Don’t count Vargas amongst those who is expecting Lopez to be the toughest challenge of his young career.
“I’m not overlooking Lopez at all,” said Vargas. “He’s a tough guy but I don’t think he will be the best opponent I’ve ever got in the ring with. I’ve sparred with Floyd Mayweather, Jose Ramirez, Mikey Garcia and Gervonta Davis before so I’ll be well prepared come fight night.”
Vargas is well known for some of his gym wars with the aforementioned Gervonta Davis. Although the two are in different weight classes, it is a fight that intrigues Vargas later down the line.
“He’s a great fighter and a two time world champion. I’m just now getting up there in the rankings but I know that I can hang with him but right now I’m taking my time. I would love that fight sometime in the future if he decides to move up.”
The thought of a showdown between Davis and Vargas is mouth watering. However, with both men campaigning in entirely different weight classes, that fight isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. With so many great fighters already at the Super Lightweight division, the fighter nicknamed “The Prodigy” is hoping for a significant step up in opposition assuming he gets past Lopez.
“Chris Algieri and Hank Lundy are guys that I’m looking at in terms of a step up bout. Those are guys that have either been champion or have fought for the title. They have the sort of name that I want on my resume. I’m ready for that kind of step up.”
Take a look at the record of Vargas and you will notice a blemish. Usually in the sport of boxing, an early loss in the career of a fighter could be an indicator that he might not have what it takes to compete at an elite level. In the case of Vargas, this isn’t the case. In his seventh professional fight, Vargas was matched up with journeyman level fighter Samuel Santana.
It was a contest that “The Prodigy” was dominating. After scoring three knockdowns through the first three rounds, Vargas connected with a punch that saw his man go down once again. The only issue is that the punch was thrown after the referee was trying to break them up.
It was later ruled that Santana was unable to continue. Sure it is a loss on the record of Vargas, but one which would not have occurred if not for an unfortunate set of circumstances. Vargas has since put the loss behind him but would be interested in a rematch sometime down the line.
“When he went down his trainer was telling him don’t get up because they knew that I was going to get disqualified. They knew they weren’t going to win that fight. I just dropped him three times before that.
I do want that fight again but it isn’t necessary. Everybody knows what happens, I was winning the whole fight so yeah I would take that fight but I don’t care about it too much. I don’t consider it a loss.”
Vargas main focus now resides in not only winning his upcoming match against Manuel Lopez, but to also look dominate while doing so.
“I’m going to definitely go in there and break him down. I’m Hoping in the later rounds I can score the stoppage.”
With knockout wins in four of his five contest, it seems that another eye catching performance could be in store come July 13th.
Berchelt and Navarrete Win their Rematches
By: William Holmes
The Tuscon Arena in Tuscon, Arizona was the host site for tonight’s Top Rank Promotions boxing card televised live on ESPN.
Two world title rematches were on display Emanuel Navarrete took on Isaac Dogboe for the WBO Junior Featherweight Title in the co-main event of the night and Miguel Berchelt faced Francisco Vargas for the WBC Junior Lightweight Title.
The opening bout of the broadcast was between Isaac Dogboe (20-1) and Emanuel Navarrete (26-1) for the WBO Junior Featherweight Title . Their last bout ended in an upset victory for Emanuel Navarrete.
Navarrete height and reach advantage was obvious early on as he went to work with his jab and short combinations. Navarrete slipped to the mat in the opening round, but was able to win the early rounds with his movement and combinations. A left upcut by Navarrete had Dogboe slightly rocked in the second round.
Dogboe came out charging in the third round, but Navarrete was able to stop that momentum with a sharp left uppercut that left Dogboe with shaky legs. Dogboe would start off strong in the opening minute of the fourth and fifth rounds, but Navarrete would have Dogboe hurt by the end of the round with his reach and power.
Navarrete scored a knockdown in the sixth round when a combination from him had Dogboe falling backwards in the the ropes. Dogboe continued to take a beating into the ninth round, but showed tremendous heart as he attempted to stay in the fight.
Isaac Dogboe’s corner, with his father as the lead trainer, threatened to stop the fight in the tenth round but sent Dogboe out to continue fighting anyway. The uppercuts of Navarrete continued to snap the head of Dogboe backwards and Dogboe needed a knockout in the final round in order to secure a win.
However, Navarrete continued pound on Dogboe in the final round and scored another knockdown. Dogboe got back up to his feet but on wobbly legs, and his father correctly decided to throw in the towel and stop his son from receiving further punishment.
Navarrete wins by TKO at 2:02 of the twelfth and final round.
The main event of the evening was between Miguel Berchelt (35-1) and Francisco Vargas (25-1-2) for the WBC Junior Lightweight Title .
Berchelt and Vargas last fought two years ago, with Berchelt coming out on top.
Berchelt showed good hand early on and was crisp with his combinations. Vargas was coming forward and did land some good overhand rights, but Berchelt was landing at a higher rate. Berchelt did get warned twice for low blows in the first.
Berchelt was landing some heavy lead left hooks in the second despite being warned for low blows again. There were some fierce exchanges in the second, but Berchelt was getting the better of Vargas.
Berchelt’s double left hook to the body and head were landing in the third, though Vargas did connect with a good combinations after Berchelt turned to the referee to complain about a low blow landing on him. Vargas was warned bout using his head in the third from the referee.
Vargas had blood coming from his nose going into the fourth round and he got tagged several times with eye combinations in the fourth. Vargas had his best round of the night in the fifth as he continued to come forward and at one point had Berchelt in some trouble by the ropes, but even that round was could have been scored either way.
Berchelt had a dominating sixth round as he loaded up on his shots to the body and head. Vargas looked like he was close to going down in the sixth, but he was able to stay on his feet, though he looked beaten both mentally and physically.
The corner of Francisco Vargas didn’t like what they saw from Vargas and stopped the fight before the start of the seventh.
Miguel Berchelt wins by TKO at the end of the sixth round.
ESPN Boxing Preview: Navarrete vs. Dogboe, Berchelt vs. Vargas
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Tuscon Arena in Tuscon, Arizona will be the host site for Top Rank Promotions Card on ESPN entitled “Twice as Nice”.
The main event of the card will feature a WBC Junior Lightweight Title rematch between Miguel Berchelt and Francisco Vargas for Berchelt’s title. The co-main event of the evening will be another rematch between Emanuel Navarrete and Isaac Dogboe for Navarrete’s WBO Junior Featherweight title.
The undercard will feature several prospects, such as Mykal Fox, Carlos Castro, Miguel parra, and Miguel Marriaga. The undercard will be streamed on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Emanuel Navarrete (26-1) vs. Isaac Dogboe (20-1); WBO Junior Featherweight Title
Navarrete has spent almost his entire career fighting in Mexico, but his first fight in the United States was a big one against Isaac Dogboe, the then WBO Junior Featherweight Champion, and he shocked many by pulling off the upset.
They’ll rematch each other on Saturday night and Navarrete has a lot of inherent advantages. Both boxers are young and only twenty four years old. Navarrete has a significant edge in height as he is five inches taller than Dogboe. He also has a significant edge in reach as he has an eight inch reach advantage over him.
Navarrete also has the edge in power, as he has stopped twenty two of his opponents while Dogboe has only stopped fourteen. Both boxers have been fairly active, with Navarrete being the more active boxer. Navarrete fought four times in 2018 and five times in 2017 while Dogboe four four times in 2018 but only once in 2017.
Prior to beating Dogboe, Navarrete did not have an impressive resume of defeated opponents. He has beaten the likes of Jose Sanmartin, Glenn Porras, and Isaac Dogboe. His lone loss was in 2012 to Daniel Argueta.
Dogboe’s only loss in his career was to Navarrete. He has defeated the likes of Hidenori Otake, Jessie Magdaleno, Cesar Juarez, Javier Chacon, and Julian Aristule.
Navarrete had a pretty dominating performance against Dogboe, and his size and reach will be difficult for Dogboe to navigate and avoid. This bout will go a long way in determining if Navarrete is the real deal or not, but it appears likely he’ll walk away with another win.
Miguel Berchelt (35-1) vs. Francisco Vargas (25-1-2); WBC Junior Lightweight Title
Even though this bout is a highly anticipated rematch, Berchelt is still in his athletic prime at 37 years old and Vargas is now 34 years old. Based on age along it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see Berchelt win convincingly.
Vargas will have about a one inch height advantage over Berchelt while Berchelt will have about an one inch reach advantage. Berchelt has the edge in power, as he has thirty one stoppage victories on his resume while Vargas only has eighteen.
Vargas’ lone loss was a knockout loss to Berchelt. He also drew with Orlando Salido. He has beaten the likes of Rod Salka, Stephen Smith, Takashi Miura, Will Tomlinson, Juan Manuel Lopez, Abner Cotto, and Jerry Belmontes.
Vargas also has an impressive amateur background that includes a trip to the 2008 Summer Olympics for Mexico.
Berchelt has defeated the likes of Miguel Roman, Jonathan Victor Barros, Maxwell Awuku, Takashi Miura, Sergio Puente, and Francisco Vargas. His lone loss was to Luis Eduardo Florez in 2014.
Berchelt never competed in the Olympics but he was a three time Mexican National Boxing Champion as an amateur.
Vargas fought once in 2018 and twice in 2017. He has only fought two times since he lost to Berchelt. Berchelt fought three times in 2018 and twice in 2017.
This writer sees this bout going in Berchelt’s favor and possibly by stoppage.
Josue Vargas: “I’m Just Going To Keep Knocking These Guys Out.”
By: Sean Crose
“It’s going great,” Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas (12-1) says of training camp in the leadup to his Saint Patrick’s Day clash with Adriano Ramirez (10-2) at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater. Vargas, a rising super lightweight, has now found himself sharing a card with the likes of Luis Collazo, and Michael Conlon. “I have a lot of fans in New York,” he says, “mainly in the Bronx.” Needless to say, the New Yorker expects to have his supporters on hand come the 17th. “A lot of people bought tickets,” he adds.
Vargas, who has eight KO’s on his record, has stopped all of his last four opponents within the distance. “I’m getting older,” he says, “so my power’s getting there.” Vargas says he’s now shooting for knockouts in the fourth or fifth rounds. “I’m just going to keep knocking these guys out,” he claims. Vargas can take inspiration from Mikey Garcia, who he’s helped train for Garcia’s upcoming superbout with welterweight star Errol Spence Jr. “It was great,actually,” says Vargas of the experience. “I sparred fifteen rounds with him. It was amazing.” Although he trains with the famed Robert Garcia, Vargas is also trained by his own father, which makes boxing a family affair for the Vargas’, just like it does for the Garcia family (Robert, a former champion himself, is Mikey’s brother).
Being part of Top Rank Promotions’ stable of fighters has certainly proved beneficial for the New Yorker, as well. “Everything’s going great,” Vargas says in reference to his relationship with his promoter. With an amateur pedigree that saw him face the likes of Shakur Stevenson, Vargas is being led through the pro ranks in a manner that allows him to steadily rise while appearing on attention getting cards. “I’m getting closer to the world title,” he says. All Vargas has to do is keep winning. Ramirez, who Vargas will be facing on the 17th, is a fighter Vargas has made sure to familiarize himself with. A short, affable seeming individual who fights in a crouched style and likes to hook his shots, Dominican Republic native Ramirez is undoubtedly looking to come back strong after suffering a loss to Matt Conway last December.
Vargas, however, is not only stepping into the ring with strong backing and a strong pedigree. He’s also stepping in with the knowledge that an impressive win can help him climb up the ranks at a rapid pace. After all, the man makes it clear he’s getting closer to a world title. The March 17th Hulu Center card will be aired live on the ESPN+ streaming service.
Miguel Berchelt-Francisco Vargas Rematch Set, 3/23 on ESPN; Winner Could Get Lomachenko
By Jake Donovan
Miguel Berchelt and Francisco Vargas are prepared to do it all again—and this time, with even more at stake than just the 130-pound title.
A rematch to their Jan. ’17 thriller—which Berchelt won by 11th round knockout to dethrone the previously unbeaten Vargas—is set for March 23 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The bout will air live on ESPN, with the event to be presented by Berchelt’s U.S. promoter Top Rank, who’ve already teased a loftier prize for the winner.
“It’s very possible that the winner of this terrific rematch will go on to face lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko later this year,” promoter Bob Arum said of the bout.
Berchelt (35-1, 30KOs) has exploded onto the 130-pound scene, beginning with his systematic dismantling of Vargas in their first meet. The bout was competitive early and befitting their all-action styles, but with Berchelt eventually wearing down his battered countryman in lifting the title.
Four defenses have since followed, most recently scoring a 9th round knockout of countryman Miguel Roman in an entertaining—if not one-sided—ESPN+ streamed bout this past November in El Paso, Texas.
With the historic Forum playing host to the rematch, Merida, Mexico’s Berchelt plays the California circuit for the third time in his two-plus year title reign. His title win over Vargas took place in Indio, Calif., while The Forum itself played host to his first defense, a points win over former titlist Takashi Miura in July ’17.
Miura was responsible for the all-action title reign of Vargas (25-1-2, 18KOs), who overcame a 4th round knockdown to drop and stop the reigning champ from Japan in the 9th round of their unforgettable Nov. ’15 war.
The savagely brutal war not only stole the show from the evening’s far more prolific headliner—Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s historic World middleweight championship win over Miguel Cotto—but would go on to gain universal recognition as 2015 Fight of the Year.
It also appeared to take quite a bit out of Mexico City’s Vargas, who was sidelined for much of the first part of 2016 to allow several cuts to heal.
His ring return was hardly a let-up in competition, once again thrown the wolves in fighting former two-division titlist Orlando Salido to a 12-round draw in June. Once again, Vargas managed to produce a Fight of the Year-level performance, but the back-to-back wars showed its effect by the time he got to Berchelt.
Two wins have followed for the 34-year old slugger, scoring a technical decision win over veteran contender Stephen Smith in Dec. ’17 and—in his lone ring action of 2018—slaughtering overmatched Rod Salka in six rounds last April.
Given his lofty ranking among the World Boxing Council—whom recognizes Berchelt as its 130-pound champ—it was a matter of time before Vargas found himself back in the title picture. Still, it took for rival promoters to put aside their differences for the sake of reaching a deal as Top Rank (Berchelt’s co-promoter), with whom Vargas began his career before eventually moving onto Golden Boy Promotions in 2011.
“Look what’s happening in boxing. All the other promoters are cooperating with each other, Arum said of doing business with Golden Boy, while also taking a shot at another rival in adviser Al Haymon. “This show, we have our kid, Miguel Berchelt against Oscar de la Hoya’s fighter, Francisco Vargas.
“To survive at this level and in today’s market, you have to work with other promoters. We have a commitment to deliver the best fights in the world to ESPN and that’s what we’re doing here. The winner will have another big fight to look forward to, as we’d love to match (whomever is victorious) with our lightweight champion, the great Vasiliy Lomachenko.”
Josue Vargas: Boxing Is My Passion
By: Sean Crose
“I had a great amateur background,” super lightweight Josue Vargas tells me. “I’m ready for anything right now.” Having recently signed with the prestigious Top Rank Promotions, Vargas is especially ready for John Renteria, his opponent this Saturday night at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City. For Vargas will be part of a card that will see pound for pound powerhouse Vasyl Lomachenko pitted in the main event against Jose Pedraza. With an amateur career that saw Vargas face off against the likes of Shakur Stevenson, the Bronx native feels like he has the pedigree to rise to the top of the sport himself.
“I feel great about being with Top Rank,” he claims. “I trust them.” Although a New Yorker, Vargas headed west to California in order to train for this weekend’s match. “I was training with Robert Garcia,” claims Vargas, “and also with my dad.” While some fighters like to train close to home, Vargas is willing to travel in order to properly prep for a fight. “I didn’t stay home in New York because the winter started kicking in,” he says. “We fight in the heat…I went to California and took care of business.”
When he steps into the ring back in the east coast on Saturday, Vargas knows he will have supporters as well as detractors. “A lot of people come to support,” he says, adding that “a lot of people do hate and want to see you lose.” There are, after all, those who simply resent success. Yet Vargas is happy to be surrounded by those he feels he can count on. “My father’s my main trainer,” he tells me, “always making sure I’m prepared for every single fight.”
Vargas also has nothing but good to say about the men who guide his career. “Richard Roman,” he says, “one of the main guys who has always been there for me since I was 13 years old.” Vargas likewise has nothing but good to say about Gary Jonas. “He got me signed with Top Rank Promotions,” Vargas points out. “He’s the guy who got me 4 and 5 and 0.” With such support, the 20 year old feels like the future is his. “I see myself with a world title in about two years,” he says, adding that “I will always stay humble.”
“Boxing,” he claims, “is my passion.”
Vargas vs. Dulorme Post Fight Press Conference Quotes
In a night full of knockdowns from Chicago’s Wintrust Arena, Jessie Vargas and Thomas Dulorme fought to a majority draw after twelve rounds of back-and-forth action on Saturday night. DAZN’s first-ever boxing card from the U.S. also featured stoppages by Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, IBF Light Heavyweight Titlist Artur Beterbiev and WBA Super Bantamweight Titlist Daniel Roman, as well as Jessica McCaskill capturing the WBC Female Super Lightweight belt.
Post-fight ringside and press conference quotes, as well as the main card’s results are below.
On the fight overall: “He was better than I expected. All credit to him – he’s a very good fighter. He comes and gives it his all in each and every fight. Unfortunately we went in with a draw. I was looking forward to the victory.”
On his 12th round knockdown by Dulorme: “It really caught me by surprise, I’m not going to lie. I was really confident in the 12th round, thought I had everything in control. I started with a punch and then I went on the attack, I saw him coming, backed up, he caught me with the punch and I was knocked down.”
On the two cuts over his eye: “I’m scarred for life, but it comes with the territory. I don’t complain. It was a couple head butts, and I knew he was going to do that frequently, unfortunately it did happen and there was nothing I could do to avoid it.”
On how he feels on this draw vs. the Broner draw: “This one was a good fight. The fans liked it. The last one brings a sour taste. This one I felt like I had the edge but I can’t complain about the draw. If that’s what the judges saw, all I can do it respect it.”
On his next fight: “I’m going to leave that up to my promoter Eddie Hearn and my advisors. Whatever they say goes. I’m looking forward to coming back real soon, but for now, it’s back to the drawing board.”
On his TKO win: “I noticed that my size in coming forward, he missed a couple shots and he was winded from just missing. And so I know he knows I’m this big guy, I’m not going to be a sitting target, I’m going to keep coming forward. Have fun, that was it, go to the body, and mix up the middle a little bit.”
On a potential fight against Anthony Joshua: “When it comes to boxing, there’s boxing and trying to maneuver. Eddie Hearn is still keeping him away from me right now, but I think the AJ fight is going to come through sooner rather than later. It’s gonna be crazy, I can’t wait.”
On what he’s going to eat post-fight: “If Adamek invites me for dinner, I’m going to eat some pierogis too, Polish style.”
On how he feels about his TKO win: “This is boxing. It’s one experience for me, my career. I’m happy. I’m happy for that fight. I win. I won by a KO. It’s good, I think so, no?”
On when he got knocked down briefly by Johnson: “It’s boxing. Everyone can one time down, but it’s important if I win. I just remember he hit me not too strong. I remember that.”
On who he wants next: “I like to first see some proposals. I’m happy to take a unified fight. I’m happy to again defend my belt, no problem. Everything. It’s my work. It’s my job.”
On his TKO win: “It was a great test, Gavin McDonnell is a hell of a fighter. I didn’t take anything away from him, he gave it his best, it was my night.”
On who he wants next: “I want to challenge all the champions, I want all the belts. Rey Vargas, Isaac Dogboe, and the new IBF champion Terence Doheny – let’s unify. I want to fight the best in my division, and they’re considered the best. Let’s do it.”
On if he would entertain a fight with Diego De La Hoya: “Let him get a belt, and then we’ll make it happen.”
12-round Welterweight Bout @ 147 lbs.
Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme
Jessie Vargas (28-2-2, 10 KOs) and Thomas Dulorme (24-3-1, 16 KOs) fight to Majority Draw
115-111 for Vargas, 113-113 113-113
12-round IBF Light Heavyweight World Title Bout @ 175 lbs.
Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Johnson
Artur Beterbiev (13-0, 12 KOs) def. Callum Johnson (17-1, 12 KOs) by TKO at 2:36 of Round 4
12-round Heavyweight Bout
Jarrell Miller vs. Tomasz Adamek
Jarrell Miller (22-0, 18 KOs) def. Tomasz Adamek (53-6, 31 KOs) by TKO at 51 seconds of Round 2
12-round WBA Super Bantamweight World Title Bout @ 122 lbs.
Daniel Roman vs. Gavin McDonnell
Daniel Roman (26-2-1,10 KOs) def. Gavin McDonnell (26-2-2, 5 KOs) by TKO at 2:36 of Round 10
10-round WBC Female Super Lightweight Title Bout @ 140 lbs.
Erica Farias vs. Jessica McCaskill
Jessica McCaskill (6-2, 3 KOs) def. Erica Farias (26-3, 10 KOs) via unanimous decision
98-92, 97-93, 96-94
Vargas, Dulorme Fight To Draw, Highlighting Entertaining DAZN Card
By: Sean Crose
DAZN took to America on Saturday, offering a packed card at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago. First off on the live stream, Daniel Roman, 25-2-1, defended his WBA super bantamweight strap against
the 20-1-2 Gavin McDonnell. The first three of the scheduled twelve rounds saw Roman apparently edge his high energy opponent. As the fight creeped into the middle rounds, McDonnell looked like he might be starting to take over the tempo. Roman, however, was ultimately able to assert himself through his more accurate punching and stronger footwork.
In the sixth, Roman really started to impact his man. It looked like the end might actually be near. McDonnell, however, was a game and brave opponent. By the final portion of the bout, it was clear that Roman simply had a stronger skill set than McDonnell. In the tenth, it was over, with Roman landing hard and furiously. The California native walked out of the ring with his belt and a TKO victory in tow.
Next up, IBF light heavyweight champ, Artur Beterbiev, 12-0, defended his belt against the 17-0 Callum Johnson. Beterbiev dropped his man in the first, after Johnson seemed to come out of getting caught in the ropes. Johnson got up and survived the round. Then, shockingly, Beterbiev went down from a left in the second. Like Johnson, Beterbiev got up and survived the chapter. The third round saw both men throwing slow and heavy. So did the fourth. Beterviev was able to send his man down again at the end of that round, however. Johnson got up, but the referee smartly stopped the bout.
Next up was Jarrell Big Baby Miller. The colorful heavyweight, 21-0-1, stepped in to face Tomasz Adamek, 53-5. Miller did what he was widely expected to do – and that’s wipe his opponent out quickly. The fight lasted less than two rounds, all of it controlled by Miller, who was so much bigger and stronger it’s perfectly logical to call the match a wipe out. Likable, as always, Miller showed respect to the largely Polish crowd, and once more expressed his interest in facing Anthony Joshua for heavyweight supremacy.
It was time for the main event. The well known 28-2-1 Jessie Vargas entered the ring to face the 24-3 veteran Thomas Dulorme for the WBC silver welterweight title. The first round was close, though Dulorme seemed to have tagged his man in the final seconds. Durlorme, perhaps surprisingly, continued to look good in the second. In the third, Vargas actually seemed to a little hesitant to pull the trigger when it came to aggressive punching.
Both men started trading hard in the fourth – yet, again, Dulorme seemed to walk back to his corner the better man. The middle rounds proved to be a tight, entertaining affair, with both men landing crisply, though Vargas may have entered the eighth with the tempo working into his favor. Yet the eighth showed both men slowing down a bit. The ninth was tight. So was the tenth…until Vargas was able to drop his man. Dulorme got up and survived, but it was a huge moment for Vargas.
Things remained close again in the 11th. The 12th saw both exhausted fighters giving it their all…but it was Dulorme who made Vargas’ glove hit the canvas with a clean knockdown that told the tale. It was a VERY good fight.
The bout ended up being called a majority draw.
DAZN Boxing Preview: Beterbiev vs. Johnson and Vargas vs. Dulorme
By: Sean Crose
Artur Beterbiev will defend his IBF light heavyweight title on Saturday night when he faces Callum Johnson in a twelve round bout. The match will be aired live on the DAZN streaming network from the Wintrust Arena in Chicago. Johnson, an undefeated Englishman with an impressive 17-0 record, is the underdog walking into the bout, though he has expressed confidence that he will pull off the upset against the 12-0 Beterbiev. Johnson will have quite the challenge in front of him, as Beterbiev has knocked out every opponent he has faced. Johnson himself has some power, as all but five of his own bouts have ended by knockout.
LA’s Daniel Roman will also appear on Saturday’s card, putting his WBA super bantamweight strap on the line when he faces Gavin McDonnell in a twelve rounder. Roman, 25-2-1, will be making his first defense of his title when he steps into the ring to fight his 20-1-2 opponent. This will be Roman’s third title defense since besting Shun Kubo in 2017. It will be McDonnell’s second attempt at a title belt. He lost to Ray Vargas by decision last year in a contest where the WBC super bantamweight title was at stake.
Photo Credit: Artur Beterbiev Twitter Account
Well known former welterweight titlist Jessie Vargas will be on Saturday’s card, as well. He’ll be fighting for the first time since battling Adrien Broner to a draw last spring. Vargas, who has faced such big name competition as Sadam Ali, Tim Bradley and the iconic Manny Pacquiao, will be fighting veteran Thomas Dulorme for the WBC silver welterweight title. It will be the 24-3 Dulorme’s first fight since dropping a decision to Yordenis Ugas in 2017. It will be the 28-2-1 Vargas’ first title bout since losing his WBO belt to Pacquiao in November of 2016.
Aside from the numerous title bouts that will go down in Chicago this weekend, colorful heavyweight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller will throw down against the popular Tomasz Adamek. Although the charismatic Miller is widely expected to win, there’s a lot at stake for the 21-0-1 Brooklyn native. For, perhaps by virtue of being connected to British promoter Eddie Hearn, Miller has hoped to find himself in line to face Hearn fighter Anthony Joshua, widely regarded as the king of the heavyweight division, sometime in the near future. The 53-5 Adamek, however, surely has plans of his own.
Saturday’s Beterbiev-Johnson card will begin at 9:00 PM Eastern Time through the DAZN streaming service.
12-round Welterweight Bout @ 147 lbs.
Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme
(Las Vegas) (Puerto Rico)
147 lbs. 146.4 lbs.
12-round IBF Light Heavyweight World Title Bout @ 175 lbs.
Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Johnson
(Montreal) (United Kingdom)
174.8 lbs. 174.8 lbs.
12-round Heavyweight Bout
Jarrell Miller vs. Tomasz Adamek
317 lbs. 227 lbs.
12-round WBA Super Bantamweight World Title Bout @ 122 lbs.
Daniel Roman vs. Gavin McDonnell
(Los Angeles) (United Kingdom)
121.6 lbs. 121.8 lbs.
10-round WBC Female Super Lightweight Title Bout @ 140 lbs.
Erica Farias vs. Jessica McCaskill
(Buenos Aires) (Chicago)
139 lbs. 138.4 lbs.
Final Press Conf Quotes: Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme
At TAO Chicago on Thursday afternoon, the boxing world saw a preview of what will prove to be a fully stacked Oct. 6 Matchroom Boxing USA fight night, as headliner Jessie Vargas will face off against Thomas Dulorme at the Wintrust Arena in one of four title fights on the card. In a press conference, Saturday night’s fighters gathered to discuss their preparation and predictions ahead of the big night – which will be the first live U.S. boxing event for DAZN, which will be broadcasting it exclusively.
Photo Credit DAZN Twitter Account
“We are building something strong and I’m en route to becoming a world champion once again. The WBC gold belongs to Shawn Porter but I look forward to challenging him very soon, in the near future. Then again, I’m not looking past Thomas Dulorme. He’s a tough task and I have to make sure that I come out victorious and continue my path to success. He’s a tough fighter and I know I have to be on point, every minute and every second of the fight.”
“I’m ready for the fight. Everybody, put your eyes onto Puerto Rico vs. Mexico. It’s the best fight Saturday night.”
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing Managing Director
“I’m very proud to be before you today for the first Matchroom Boxing USA event. Obviously we have a lot to thank DAZN for, the new home for boxing and for giving us the opportunity to build 16 fight cards across the U.S., and to build a great stable of fighters. I think by just looking up here you can see what we’re trying to do in terms of entertainment and value for money for the sport of boxing. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the Wintrust Arena or watching on DAZN, I promise you, you will not leave without a smile on your face!”
Joseph Markowski, DAZN SVP, North America
“This is a historic moment: the first ever Matchroom USA event, broadcast live on DAZN, following our launch a few weeks ago. Our U.S. boxing journey starts here in Chicago, with a stacked fight card and what’s sure to be a memorable night in one of America’s greatest sports towns.”
“If you signed up for DAZN before the Sept. 22 Joshua vs. Povetkin bout in the UK, you’ll get 14 boxing and MMA events before your free month wraps up. That’s tremendous value and entirely indicative of what’s to come. We came in to disrupt the status quo, and it’s been interesting – to say the least – to see how boxing evolves with various broadcasters stepping up or switching up their game. It’s an exciting new era.”
“It’s been a long road. Every fight is more important than the next. I did not look past Adamek because of his age, or because he’s gotten his butt whooped a couple times in the ring. Did not look past that! I made sure I went to the gym, trained hard, to make sure I put on a good show for you guys. I’ve said before sometimes as a fighter, the wrong story comes across because we talk smack. I have nothing but respect for this guy…It’s nothing about disrespect, it’s about two fighters coming together and beating his behind.”
“You had too much food in here man, this is ridiculous! You have a bunch of guys in here who can’t eat no food, you got chicken lo mein, and sour chicken, and chicken duck, and everything chicken. This is messed up.”
“Thirteen years ago, I came to the United States in Chicago and got the title shots. I won, thank you god. Thirteen years later, I get proposed to fight again in Chicago…and I said “Absolutely!” I’m here, we had a good camp, and I’m ready for the show. It should be a good fight for everyone.”
On why he wanted 12 rounds instead of 10: “I’ll never go into ring not in shape because I’m a smart man. Twelve is twelve. When I win the show I want to give you something bigger. When I go into the ring I want to be best and show who is better.”
“I’m not a big talker, but hopefully in the ring on October 6th, I’ll show you everything.”
When asked by Eddie Hearn on if the fight will go long or short against Johnson: “Eddie, I’m interested myself, and that’s why I’m here.”
“I’m ready to come here and upset the odds. I’ve done everything in preparation to be able to do that and it’s something I’m really, really looking forward to Saturday night. It’s a dream come true for me – fighting for a world title in America – and I plan on taking that belt home and shocking the world.”
On why he stepped up to challenge Beterbiev: “It took me all of half a second to say yes. I’m not in the game to turn opportunities down like this. I know I’m fighting a real good fighter, he’s a feared man, but I fear no man. When it’s all said and done, we’re both human beings, we’re both going to be in that ring, we’re both looking for power and it’ll be what it’ll be.”
“Expect a great fight from me. It’ll be my third defense and I plan on taking the belt home, no disrespect to Gavin. I know he’s a great fighter. He fought for the world title before so he’s going to come at me with everything hungry, but we’ll be ready and we’ll be taking the belt back home.”
“As a fighter we always want to fight in America. It’s been a dream of mine to fight here in Chicago. It’s a lovely place and this is where my dreams are going be made.”
“It’s up to me to go out there Saturday night and achieve my dream, which is what I plan on doing. I plan on stepping on the world scene and making a big statement Saturday night. My journey is just going to start and Britain is going to get a new champion.”
“I’m very excited to be here, the first time I’ve been in the United States. It’s a dream come true to represent!”
“I’ve always thought about when I would have the opportunity to fight in the States. Now, it’s here with this amazing card and amazing event, and it will happen Saturday night with these great champions and facing Jessica McCaskill.”
“I’m really excited about this fight. I love the atmosphere that all the boxers bring. It’s nothing about disrespect. We have high goals for female boxing, boxing in general, and there’s nothing but love up here but we do want to beat each other up. That’s just how it goes. So thank you for coming.”
“To all my friends and family in St. Louis, get DAZN if you want to see my fight! Get DAZN, it’s on-demand afterwards. You can rewind, watch it, rewind, watch it.”
On potentially becoming a world champion is Chicago: “It means everything to be part of history. I feel if you’re going to do something like this and put your body on the line, it should be for great things. It’s great to win and it’s great to have a belt, but it’s amazing to be part of history and that’s what I’ve been trying do my whole career. Because of the lack of female boxing there’s been a lot of opportunities to do that, so I’m excited for the opportunity and excited to fight!”
Tony Bellew, Interviewed Offstage by DAZN Hosts Ak & Barak
On his Nov. 10 unification fight against Usyk on Nov. 10: “This is a really, really hard fight, a defining fight in my career and his. He’s trying to make his name big in the UK, because the UK audience is huge and the US audience is now also open with DAZN. So, this is a mega fight. I’m a name, he’s a name, I talk, he listens, and we’re going to see how it’s going to go on November 10thand I can’t wait. I know I can beat him. I can beat any cruiserweight in the world. There’s only one cruiserweight that would have whooped me and he’s long gone and that’s Evander Holyfield.”
On rumors of his retirement after the Nov. 10 matchup and what that would take: “Boxing’s a hard game because even when you win, you lose a piece of yourself. I’m hoping to lose the fight in me on November 10th. I’m going to win, but I’m hoping that it’s so hard that I’ve had enough.”
On why he’s in Chicago other than his fight camp nearby: “I’m here to support my gym mate, Gavin McDonnell, in a world title fight against Daniel Roman. It’s a stacked card and a brilliant event. I’m looking forward to not just my gym mate winning a world championship, but there’s also many other fights on the bill…I’m looking forward to seeing it all.”
Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme Media Workout Quotes
Ahead of Saturday night’s Matchroom Boxing USA fight, the fighters went through their paces in the ring at Wednesday’s public workout in Chicago’s Millennium Park, just north of where the action will go down at The Wintrust Arena on Oct. 6. Spectators gathered to see Jessie Vargas, Thomas Dulorme, Jarrell Miller, and the rest of the card up close ahead of the big event. Saturday’s fight represents the first live U.S. boxing event for DAZN, which will be broadcasting it exclusively.
Photo Credit: Jessie Vargas Twitter Account
“October 6th is coming very soon. I’m looking forward to it and I have all the energy in the world to perform for my friends. With the WBC Silver there’s a lot on the line because winner gets a title shot for the gold, and there’s a lot at risk so I have to make sure I come prepared and defeat Thomas Dulorme.”
“This is the best training camp I’ve had. I’ve been training hard every day, two to three times a day. My strength guys are great and I’m ready for Saturday night. My opponent Jessie is a great fighter, but I’m faster and bigger than Jessie. I don’t know if it will be decision or knockout, but I’m 100% I’m going to win this fight.”
“I’m going to knock him out!”
“I’m ready, we had a good camp. Sparring was everything you want and I’m excited for Saturday night. I want to do the best for my class, so I can sit in there with everybody. Many of my fans came to watch me! I’m ready for the fight and I want to show my class in the ring.”
When asked about Saturday’s fight: “I feel good.”
“Looking forward to the fight on Saturday and being involved in the DAZN show here in the USA. I predict a knockout!”
“Don’t miss the fight this Saturday night, it will be a great fight. Expect a good fight for myself and we’re ready to take the belt back home.”
“The twelve-week training camp went well. Everything we have done is the best we can and the work is being put in. It’s going to show on Saturday night! I look forward to getting in there and beating him. I want to make a statement to the world and other champions because I’m here to stay. It wouldn’t surprise me if I get a stoppage late that’s how good I feel.”
“In first place I’m very happy being here in the United States. It’s the first time I’m appearing in boxing here and it’s a great opportunity. I look forward to winning and having other opportunities.”
“I’m feeling really great. We had ten months to prepare for a big question mark, this is what fell into our lap, and I think we’re more than ready for it. Ten months of not fighting can drive you crazy, but this fight is going to be great, and I’m always going for the knockout!”
DAZN Boxing Results: Amir Khan Survives Knockdown, Decisions Vargas
By: William Holmes
Amir Khan (33-4) returned to the ring tonight at the Arena in Birmingham, England to face veteran welterweight Samuel Vargas (29-3-2) in the welterweight division.
This was Khan’s first fight with on DAZN and is one of their more marketable stars. DAZN made this fight available for free on their social media networks.
Photo Credit: DAZN USA Twitter Account
Khan, a strong favorite, showed no signs of a slow down in the opening rounds by pressing the action and using his superior speed.
Khan was doing well at keeping a safe distance and even sent Vargas down in the second from a combination that ended with a right han, but Vargas was able to land a straight right to the temple that sent Khan crashing to the mat after recovering from the knockdown.
Khan was able to recover, and went back to fighting at a safe distance and utilizing his quick combinations. Vargas was able to land a few good shots to test Khan’s chin, but Khan was able to withstand his power.
Amir Khan had Vargas bloodied by the fifth round and appeared to be close to knocking Vargas down. Vargas did have his moments, including momentarily stunning Khan in the tenth round and strong 11th round rally.
The final scores were 119-108, 119-109, 118-110 for Amir Khan.
Khan has bigger prizes on his mind, and noted that he’d like to face either Kell Brook or Manny Pacquiao next. The fight with Kell Brook should be easier for Eddie Hearn to make, but a fight with Manny Pacquiao would also be an entertaining fight.