On Saturday, January 28, 2017, Francisco Vargas defends his WBC title against Miguel Berchelt.
The bout will air live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark starting at 10:00 pm, EST.
Read on for Round By Round Boxing‘s staff predictions for Vargas vs. Berchelt and let us know who you think will win.
Liam Brady, Graphic Designer/Staff Writer
Francisco Vargas deserves all the respect he can get. He is the antithesis of a “cherry picker,” a fighter who has battled Takashi Miura and Orlando Salido in his last two contests.
Furthermore, these were grueling fights against quality operators, so there’s no denying Vargas’ status as a legitimate champion. I would not begrudge him an easy defense, but he has gone straight into the fire again, by taking on a fighter who can box, be on the front foot, and hit very hard.
This is an excellent fight on paper, and my admiration for Vargas increases by taking on Miguel Berchelt, who was the WBO mandatory challenger at 130 pounds, also. As for the fight, I am leaning towards Berchelt in this one.
As much as Vargas’ last two fights have been great to watch, he has taken a lot of facial damage in these fights, which is a notable concern going into a fight against someone like Berchelt. So much so, even the WBC felt compelled to give Vargas a six month break period.
This is why I am leaning towards Berchelt in this one. He can box, go on the attack and as his record suggests (three have only gone the distance), he can take people out early. This is a very dangerous fight for Vargas, and I can see Berchelt frustrating him with his movement, jab and high guard.
Moreover, when there is inside fighting, Berchelt has excellent uppercuts, which may be crucial in winning the exchanges and rounds. I feel Berchelt has a better arsenal as a fighter, and as a result, I see a comfortable points win for Berchelt.
Though, with Vargas being notorious for his facial injuries, a doctor’s stoppage cannot be ruled out. Maybe this time, the wars Vargas has had in the past will take its toll.
Chris Nicastro, Staff Writer
A bit like the Dejan Zlaticanin vs. Mikey Garcia fight. Francisco Vargas shouldn’t overlook the guy, but at the same time he should be able to handle him.
I’m sure Vargas will be happy merely at the fact that he isn’t staring down Takashi Miura or Orlando Salido this go-around.
CJ Halloran, Writer
After seeing his last fight against Orlando Salido, I think there are only a handful of people that can take on the champion.
Miguel Berchelt seems like good competition, but he’s never fought anyone with the skill of Vargas. I got Vargas by 10th-round TKO.
Jack O’Connell, Staff Writer
Francisco Vargas has fought two back-to-back drag out slugfests. And although he was successful in each bout, he’s chipping away at himself.
Takashi Miura put a violent beatdown on Vargas until he rallied. Orlando Salido dragged Vargas into brawl that both men had to leave less of themselves.
Miguel Berchelt has proven his power, and if Saturday night is the night Vargas’s resilience has left him, Berchelt could make quick work of the champion.
Yet, I can’t count out Vargas. I counted him out against Miura and Salido, but he continues to shut me up. I believe Vargas will fight a whole lot smarter and use his length to outbox Berchelt until the knockout comes.
Vargas by mid-round knockout.
Alan Garcia, Staff Writer
Francisco Vargas has fought big wars in his last two fights and both have been candidates and qualified as Fight of the Year.
The network and fans have seen what a great Mexican slugger like Vargas can do in the ring. With that being said, this fight seems to me like it’s going to be competitive enough to be entertaining, but mismatched enough to be an easy win for Vargas.
Vargas is deserving of an easy match after all he has accomplished recently, and this is that easy match he needs. A good stay active fight to keep his skills sharpened.
It wont surprise me if this fight goes the distance, but I predict a late-round knockout in Vargas favor.
Joseph Rodriguez, Staff Writer
I believe this matchup could be the fight of the weekend. Both fighters carry power and both are more than willing to engage.
In the end, I believe Francisco Vargas’ boxing skill will be the difference as he controls the distance in the fight while countering cleanly.
Mike Burnell, Staff Writer
Seven months after Francisco Vargas’ epic battle against Orlando Salido, the only man to defeat Vasyl Lomachenko as a professional, he faces off against Miguel Berchelt with the WBC Super Featherweight belt up for grabs.
The young, heavy handed Berchelt comes in with a seven year age advantage at 25 and has faced a decent array of fighters as he climbs the ranks, though Vargas represents a substantial jump in class and experience.
There is a good chance that when Berchelt clashes with “El Bandido” that they will steal the show as it relates to the boxing action scheduled for this weekend.
It’s a safe bet that this one ends well inside the distance. Berchelt’s lone defeat was via stoppage after being dropped in a heap by Luis Eduardo Florez and upon rising was rescued by the referee.
Vargas has the power and style to deliver the pain while boasting a sturdy set of whiskers himself. Expect him to do just that in Round 6.
Alex Burgos, Editor-in-Chief
Francisco Vargas has a tough fight on his hands. If he’s trained any less than he did for his last two fights against Takashi Miura and Orlando Salido, we could see an upset.
Miguel Berchelt, while a bit rigid at times, is a pretty good mover that likes to work behind his stiff jab. Berchelt also has heavy hands, but he’s also shown susceptibility to equally big punchers.
In his lone loss to Luis Eduardo Florez, Berchelt was caught with a beautiful short left hook in Round 1 and that was all she wrote.
Maybe it’s going to take another few years off his odometer, but I think Vargas should do what he does best and make this an in-the-trenches scrap. I think his beautiful inside work and short power punches can be the difference and should earn him a stoppage victory.