Photos Lina Baker, Instagram @seeyouringside
Miguel Berchelt 32-1 28KO’s came with lofty expectations from the Mexican-American crowd at the forum in Inglewood after defeating former Mexican Olympian and world champion Francisco Vargas earlier this year. Takshi Miura 31-4-2 24KO’s engaged in an epic battle with Vargas that made the fight freak salivate after hearing the announcement to pair the two.
Unexpectedly Berchelt used his feet more than his will, moving side to side the Mexican befuddled the Japanese fighter with angles. In the firstround Berchelt landed a right-hand left hook combination to drop Miura. The rest of the fight saw Miura chase Berchelt to no avail as the judges’ cards read 116-111, 119-108, and 120-109 all for Miguel Berchelt in front of 5,846 fans.
“I knew this fight was going to be won with intelligence. Miura is a warrior, and fought till the end,” said Miguel Berchelt. “Miura has the toughest left hand in the division. He kept coming forward, and when he connected his punches they did hurt. I knew I was going to fight and ex-world champion, so I prepared myself well. I have proven that I am the best by taking on the two toughest champions in the division with Vargas and Miura. I am ready to fight anyone.
Robinson Castellanos 22-11 14KO’s finally got a shot at a world title after always playing the upset. Most recently he was seen upsetting Yuriorkis Gamboa on Cinco De Mayo weekend. Castellanos’s deceptive record always put him in position to sneak in as an unheralded opponent, unrecognized by a manager or trainer only to blast away an undefeated prospect. Jezreel Corrales 22-1 8KO’s did his homework on Castellanos but he still got a few answers wrong in the process. Early on it was clear Corrales was the quicker and sharper landing punches in combination and sliding out from Castellanos’s looping shots
Castellanos started closing the gap in the fourth and landed an overhand right, dropping Corrales but, he would go down again moments later after another big right hook from Castellanos. A headbutt in the fifth opened up a nasty gash on the forehead of Castellanos that wouldn’t stop bleeding until the 10th round when the doctor advised referee Jack Reiss to stop the fight, ending the contest at :31 seconds of the 10th round. Scorecards read 94-94, 94-93, and 96-92 giving Corrales the victory by majority decision in an entertaining fight
“I knew this would be an interesting fight, I am so happy about the victory,” said Jezreel Corrales. “This is probably the best fight that I’ve had in my career so far. I’m looking at tonight’s main event as one of my future opponents.”
“I am honestly so sad,” said Robinson Castellanos. “That head butt should have disqualified him; it could have been fatal. I knew coming in that I was in enemy territory, however I felt that I was ahead in the cards. I feel terrible.”
Sullivan Barrera 20-1 14KO’s beat another highly touted contender in Joe Smith Jr. 23-2 19KO’s. Smith came out firing in the first round to have his biggest moment of the fight, dropping Barrera with a left hook in the final moments of the opener. Both fighters would throw big shots and have sensational moments of give and take in the fourth round with Smith landing left hooks and Barrera overhand rights.
In the fifth round Barrera found a home for a nice jab-right uppercut combination that would land often for the rest of night. As the fight wore on Smith showed signs of wearing down and attempted to rally but had little to offer. At the end of 10 the judges’ cards read 96-93, and 97-92 twice to make Barrera the new WBC Intercontinental Champion.
“I feel very happy about this win, Joe Smith, Jr. is a great champion, and I respect him very much,” said Sullivan Barrera, “This title wouldn’t have been possible with my amazing team, and my father here tonight was also amazing. When Smith, Jr. knocked me down in the second round, I got back up cause that’s who I am. In my fight with Shabranskyy the same thing happened. I shoot back up to get the victory.” Said Barrera after the fight.
Ryan Garcia 10-0 9KO’s showed professional opponent Mario Macias 27-22 14KO’s shortly after the first bell. Garcia dropped Macias with a right hook seconds into the fight, Macias would beat the count only to go down from another right hook from Garcia. Referee Jack Reiss waived the fight at 1:14 to notch another KO for Garcia.