HBO serves up a tripleheader of hot ring action when HBO BOXING AFTER DARK: MIGUEL BERCHELT VS. TAKASHI MIURA, JEZREEL CORRALES VS. ROBINSON CASTELLANOS AND JOE SMITH JR. VS. SULLIVAN BARRERA is seen SATURDAY, JULY 15 at 9:50 p.m. (ET/PT) from the renowned venue The Forum in Inglewood, Cal. The HBO Sports team will call all the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.
The fights will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.
The main event is a 12-round super featherweight title showdown between Miguel Berchelt (31-1, 28 KOs) from Merida, Mexico, and Takashi Miura (31-3-2, 24 KOs) from Tokyo, Japan. Fighting in the U.S. for only the second time, Berchelt will be making his first title defense since taking the belt from Francisco Vargas last January in a thrilling fight seen on HBO. The current mandatory at 130 pounds, Miura is a former super featherweight champ looking to regain the title he lost to Francisco Vargas in 2015, a bruising battle that captured consensus “fight of the year” honors.
The middle bout features Jezreel Corrales (21-1, 8 KOs) from San Miguelito, Panama and Robinson Castellanos (24-12, 14 KOs) from Celaya, Mexico in a scheduled 12-round super featherweight title contest. Corrales’ only loss came in his second pro fight; he will be making his first U.S. appearance after winning the crown with back-to-back victories over Takashi Uchiyama. Castellanos, who experienced a string of losses early in his professional career, has won 14 of his last 16 fights, scoring an emphatic upset win over former Olympic gold medalist and featherweight champ Yuriorkis Gamboa this past May.
The tripleheader opens with an intriguing light heavyweight contest between New Yorker Joe Smith Jr. (23-1, 19 KOs) and Cuban native Sullivan Barrera (19-1, 14 KOs). Smith, who worked in construction on Long Island as he built his ring career, stunned the boxing world last December when he knocked future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins out of the ring. Barrera, now living in Miami, Fla., suffered his only pro loss to reigning 175-pound champion Andre Ward. Both fighters are known for heavy hitting, and a big victory in this 12-round matchup will dramatically enhance the winner’s position in the talent-rich division.