Miguel Berchelt overwhelms Francisco Vargas to defend WBC super featherweight belt via sixth-round TKO
Vargas' corner stopped the bout after the sixth round to protect their fighter
Two years ago, Miguel Berchelt and Francisco Vargas combined for nearly 2,000 punches in a thrilling bout that Berchelt won via an 11th-round knockout to claim the WBC super featherweight title. They didn't quite reach that number when they met again on Saturday night in Tucson, Arizona, but only because Berchelt was battering Vargas so badly that the fight only last six rounds.
With his fighter's face bright red from all of the punishment he was taking, trainer Joel Diaz stopped the bout after the sixth round to prevent Vargas from taking any more punches. Making that decision is never easy, but it was the right thing for Diaz to do in order to protect Vargas, who was perhaps too brave for his own good.
The TKO victory was the fifth straight title defense for Berchelt (36-1 32 KOs) at 130 pounds, and it was everything he deserved. It was the fight everyone expected, with the two fighters standing toe-to-toe and throwing defense to the wind in favor of high-volume punching.
And though Vargas (25-2-2, 17 KOs) was landing his fair share of shots, he was eating two or three punches for every one that he landed. It's simply not in his nature to move around the ring with a defensive style, and thus there was nothing he could do as Berchelt rocked him time and again with multi-punch combinations. In particular, Berchelt was landing some vicious left hooks to both the head and body.
"My trainer did what he's supposed to do and that's protect me," Vargas said. "I thought I could compete with him, but his punches are sharp and they're strong."
Now established as one of the main men in the super featherweight division, Berchelt is eyeing another belt. After the fight, he declared he wants the winner of Masayuki Ito and Jamel Herring, who square off in two weeks on May 25 for Ito's WBO belt.
"I want to prove I'm the best," Berchelt said. "In (two weeks), it will be Jamel Herring taking on Masayuki Ito. I want the winner."
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