Albert Baker

Miguel “The Scorpion” Berchelt 31-1 28KO’s upset the apple cart and unaligned the stars for a rematch of the 2015 fight of the year as he out-gunned and out-lasted Francisco Vargas 23-1-2 17KO’s to take the WBC Junior Lightweight title in front of 3,000 sreaming fans at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.

Vargas started fast and landed big shots, trading with Berchelt who appeared to be bigger. Vargas would slow down a half step and begin to lose the exchanges after the third round as Berchelt was just too strong. In the eighth round Berchelt opened a cut on the left eye of Vargas that covered Vargas’s face with blood. At the end of the tenth-round Vargas walked back to his corner a swollen mess but still fought on and was never entirely out of the fight.

Berchelt came out for the eleventh round and landed a flurry of hard shots that sent Vargas reeling. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. had seen enough and called a halt to the action sending Berchelts corner into celebration.

Berchelt landed 429 of 946 at 45.3% total punches according to compubox compared to 330 of 1031 for 32% for Vargas. “When two Mexicans get into the ring its special” said Berchelt after the fight. “I want to fight the best, and I want to beat the best”.

“The cut was a problem it wouldn’t let me do a lot things I wanted to.” Vargas said. With three hellacious fights in a row Golden-boy may want to consider bringing Vargas back for a softer touch in his next assignment or give him a long layoff. Any type of hard rematch vs. Miura or Salido on the Canelo vs Chavez Jr. card in May should not even be an option to preserve their investment and care for the fighter.

Takashi Miura 31-3-2 24KO’s lost the 2015 fight of the year against tonight’s main event star Francisco Vargas, tonight Miura reminded the crowd and Vargas that a rematch would be nothing but fireworks. Mikey Roman 56-12 43KO’s came to bang and had Miura hurt early and late in the fight. Roman landed big right uppercuts as the two came together with little clinching and much punching for almost twelve full rounds.

Both fighters had momentum swings with Mexican and Japanese fan contingencies scream for their fighter. In the tenth-round Miura landed a hard straight left hand down the pipe that put Roman down hard to signal the beginning of the end. Roman would survive the round and come out for the eleventh firing right and left hands but a straight left to the sternum put Roman again for the second-time half way through the round.

Miraculously Roman would recover and return fire before the close of the eleventh. The crowd on its feet and media row smiling ear to ear, both fighters touched gloves at the start of the twelfth. Miura landed a hard flurry of punches that sent an exhausted Roman to the canvas and the referee counted him out at 53 seconds in the twelfth.

The win could set up an encounter with Vargas conqueror Miguel Berchelt in what would surely be an entertaining matchup.

In his second fight since a ninth round TKO loss to Jessie Vargas, Sadam Ali 24-1 14KO’s returned against tough Jorge Silva 21-13-2 17KO’s of Mexico. Silva, known best for a spirited effort against Alfredo Angulo years back is a tough as nails gatekeeper that was just what the doctor ordered for Ali. In the first Ali landed a hard straight left hand that put Silva down but the fighter known as “Pantera” was able to rebound and return for the second round.

Ali would get his motor going and started to land precise hard shots on the chin of Silva. In the fourth Ali landed a vicious left hook that crumpled Silva into the corner prompting the referee to stop the fight. Ali notches another win on the road to positioning himself for another meaningful bout. “Im on my bounce back, and this win is solidifying my status as one of the ones to be watching.” Ali said after the fight.

Mexican Olympian Vicente Portillo 6-0 3KO’s was supposed to be in light on fellow countryman Francisco Vargas’s undercard but found himself in a serious fight against Mike Melikyan 1-2 of Los Angeles. Melikyan used a confident jab and effective body punching to put a wet blanket on any kind of statement Portillo was trying to make. Portillo had the quicker feet and circled Melikyan but often ran into shots and slowed after just the first round.

Scores of 38-38, 39-37, and 39-37 were read to a booing crowd as Portillo won by majority decision. “Stylistically, I feel like I was the better fighter and used the ring more, but he couldn’t take me down.” Said Portillo after the fight.

Local Indio product Luis Coria 3-0 3KO’s blasted Gerardo Molina 1-4 1KO out at 1:52 of the first round to continue the pace. Coria outgunned Molina before he could mount any type of response to Coria’s quick start.

Lamont Roach Jr. 13-0 5KO’s had little trouble against Mexican Alex Valdez 26-9-2 20KO’s, blasting him out in the first round. Not normally a devastating puncher Roach laid a thunderous right hand on the head of Valdez to drop him early in the first. Valdez would make it to his feet but Roach would move in for the finish and drop Valdez again with a big right hook forcing the referee to waive the contest.

Palmdale California’s Cesar Diaz 4-0 4KO’s and Dallas Texas’s Vergil Ortiz wasted no time getting things started as both crushed their opponents by first round KO in separate bouts to open the afternoon.

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