By: Dallas Orysiuk (@Chargers204)
Unless you live in Quebec, being a boxing fan in Canada isn’t always easy. Canadian fights are often on PPV, fight times can be delayed based on our cable broadcaster and some networks aren’t offered altogether. So, when I found out the rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton was going to be televised on Showtime again, I was disappointed to say the least. Thankfully, however, HBO put together a nice card to rival the Showtime card last night. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.
If you are a fan of toe to toe action and the brutality of the sweet science, then leading up to yesterday, you would have known that a card containing both Takashi Miura and Francisco Vargas was bound to produce fireworks.
Miura vs. Roman
From the opening bell, Miura versus Roman was exciting. Miura has been in all kinds of wars and Roman, a tough Mexican veteran, was riding an 18 fight win streak. Miura started the first few rounds strong, controlling the first quarter of the fight. Miura landed powerful left hands up stairs and rights to the body while Roman continued to apply the pressure and work on the inside. The first few rounds saw both guys stunned, Miura hurt with a punch to the body and Roman hurt by a left hand at the end of the fourth.
When it looked like Miura was going to be too much to Roman, Mikey turned it on in the fifth and looked to be getting the better of Takashi Miura. Miura had been in a number of wars and it looked like they were finally starting to take a toll; he looked gassed, he was rocked on occasion and began to bleed. The middle rounds were all Roman but then in the 9th Miura began to take control again. In the 10th Takashi Miura hurt Roman with a left to the head and followed it with a brutal left to the body. It looked like this would be the end for Roman but he beat the count. In the 11th Miura continued to pack on the pressure and sent Roman to the canvas again with a barrage of punches. Then in the 12th and final round Miura closed the show and finished Mikey Roman with a well placed left hand.
There was no question that the main event between Francisco Vargas and Miguel Berchelt would have difficulty topping the action of the first bout, but if there was anyone to do it, it would be Francisco Vargas who was coming off two consecutive FOTY’s in both 2015 and 2016. Standing in the undefeated Vargas’ way was a young and skilled, powerful but relatively untested Miguel Berchelt.
From the get go the fight was full of action. Both fighters looked fast, crisp and powerful; but it was Berchelt who began to take over and get the better of the champion. Vargas won a couple of rounds, but it looked like the youth of Berchelt was too much. One wondered if the number of wars Vargas had been in had begun to take a toll. The fight was relatively one sided, with Berchelt getting the better of Vargas, but still, it was an entertaining affair with some heavy exchanges. Vargas was cut badly and blood began to pour from his eye. Then in the 11th round, with a barrage of punches, and blood flowing down Vargas’s face, the referee jumped in for the stoppage.
It was a night of action, and both fights lived up to expectations. Takashi Miura improved to 31-3-2, 24 KOs, while Francisco Vargas attained his first loss of his professional career, falling to 23-1-2, 17 KOs. Meanwhile, it Miguel Berchelt provied he is the real deal and improved to 31-1, 28 KOs.
Following the opening bout, Miura stated, “These are the types of fights that I want. I want the winner of the next fight.” Most expected that would be Vargas, but now an interesting possibility looms around the corner between Berchelt and Miura.
Berchelt was gracious following the victory in the main event and stated, “I want to fight the best of the best, and this fight happened because of that.”
Before last night, there was talk about a potential showdown between Vasyl Lomachenko and Francisco Vargas, but with last nights’ outcome, a matchup between Berchelt and Lomachenko looks interesting. Then with Miura and a handful of other fighters in the mix, there looks to be some mouth watering matchups in the super featherweight division looming around the corner.by