Miguel Berchelt was coming into this fight as the favorite and rightfully so. Since defeating Francisco Vargas to capture the WBC Super Featherweight Crown in 2017 he went 4-0. He’s a seasoned champion and that’s exactly what he portrayed last night at the Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona. He battered Vargas with brutal combinations and body shots until Vargas’ trainer, Joel Diaz, called off the fight in between rounds. Six rounds was all Berchelt needed to make true on his promise of stopping the former champion.
I favored Berchelt to win for a number of reasons. He’s younger, stronger, and in his prime. Vargas is a tremendous fighter with a big heart. That’s why fans love to see him fight. But his style of fighting has also taken a toll on him. Before their initial bout on January 2017, Vargas was coming off two brutal wars against Takashi Miura and Orlando Salido. He also cuts easily and that was another reason he lost by TKO to Berchelt in their first meeting.
With the Berchelt fight, Vargas had racked up three consecutive brutal wars that had taken a toll on the fighter from Mexico City. He came into the fight on a two fight winning streak but was also coming off a thirteen month layoff. The layoff was good, however, because it gave him a chance to rest. But it didn’t change the fact that the champion was coming in red hot.
From the get-go, Berchelt demonstrated he was the better fighter. He consistently connected with cleaner punches. He started to work the body effectively after having been warned by the referee on a couple occasions in the first round about hitting too low. He picked up the pace as the fight wore on and landed solid combinations and body shots throughout the fight. He was the more active, aggressive fighter.
But, as is custom with Mexican fighters of Vargas’ caliber, the fighter known as “El Bandido” had no quit in him. He consistently applied pressure and tried to get into the pocket where he was most effective with his punch output. He landed solid shots that wooed the crowd on several occasions. He took some and he gave some which resulted in swelling and cutting, but also provided him with open looks on the champion. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough and his corner thankfully saw the writing on the wall.
Trainer Joel Diaz stopped the fight in between rounds six and seven to save his fighter from further damage. It was a wise decision for everyone involved because had Vargas been allowed to keep fighting he would have done just that. Vargas has a fighter’s mentality and by that I mean that he will go out on his shield. Thankfully his trainer was looking out for his best interest and he called the fight off.
With the stoppage Miguel “El Alacran” Berchelt improves to 36-1 with 32 knockouts. He retains his WBC Super Featherweight Crown and has his eyes set on unifying against the winner of Masayuki Ito and Jamel Herring. Other than that he’s also made it known that he would be interested in facing off against pound-for-pound fighter Vasyl Lomachenko. For that fight, Berchelt would presumably have to climb up five pounds to meet “Hi-Tech” in the lightweight division. Whatever his next fight is, it’ll definitely be worth watching.
Francisco Vargas drops to 25-2-2, 18KO’s. Surprisingly enough his only two losses are to Miguel Berchelt. Where does the action fighter go from here? Retirement could be an option if the former champion feels that he simply can’t compete at a high level anymore. But then again a true fighter will rarely go out graciously. Hopefully this won’t be the case with Vargas. His activity against Berchelt would have been impressive against any other opponent which means he still has something left in the tank. We’ll find out later on, but hopefully he can get some much needed rest and enjoy time with family and loved ones.
THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON www.torresboxing.com