Miguel Berchelt & Emanuel Navarrete Pickup Wins on ESPN
TUCSON, Ariz. — Miguel Berchelt retained his WBC junior lightweight title at the Convention Center on Saturday night as he again defeated Francisco Vargas in six rounds in an entertaining yet increasingly one-sided battle that was waved off by Vargas’ corner.
Vargas (25-2-2, 18 KOs) fought gamely and at times matched the activity of Berchelt (36-1, 32 KOs), but he was simply overwhelmed and engulfed by the combination punching of Berchelt, who punctuated many of his salvos with crunching left hooks to the body.
And while Vargas landed his share of leather, his punches didn’t have the same impact as Berchelt’s. At age 34, Vargas was worn down by the steady two-fisted attack that came his way. Vargas put up a brave fight, but the effect of so many past ring wars against the likes of Takashi Miura and Orlando Salido appear to have simply taken their toll. By contrast, the 27-year-old Berchelt looks to be in his physical prime and is just hitting his stride as a fighter.
The first few rounds were close, but Berchelt was busier, landing the harder shots that had more impact. And by the fifth frame it was obvious that again Berchelt would simply be too much for Vargas, whom Berchelt stopped in January 2017 to claim the 130-pound belt. In the sixth round, Berchelt ramped up his attack to the body. As Vargas trudged back to the corner, there was a realization that there was nothing he could really do to turn the tide of the bout — and they were only halfway through.
Which is why cornerman Joel Diaz decided to wave off the fight. While Vargas was more than willing to fight on, Diaz realized that would be a losing proposition.
Even in defeat, Vargas earned the respect of Berchelt, who said, “I did what I said I was going to do in the ring. More importantly, I want to thank Francisco ‘Bandido’ Vargas. He’s a true Mexican warrior, and more than anything, let me tell you, he gave me my first opportunity at a world title. So, it was only fair that I would give him a shot to win his world title back. But his corner did the right thing in saving him from more punishment.”
Berchelt has now defended his title five times, and he has spoken openly of his desire to face unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko.
But he just might have some unfinished business at 130.
“I want to prove that I’m the best 130-pounder in the world. In [two weeks], it will be [Jamel] Herring taking on [WBO champion Masayuki] Ito. I want the winner of that fight because I don’t want to leave any doubt as to who the best super featherweight in the world is,” Berchelt said.
TUCSON, Arizona — Emanuel Navarrete defeated Isaac Dogboe by TKO in Round 12 to retain his WBO junior featherweight world title — the same belt he won in his first fight against Dogboe in December — at the Tucson Convention Center on Saturday.
While Dogboe was better prepared for the rematch with Navarrete, he simply could not deal with Navarrete’s length, reach and work rate.
From the beginning, Dogboe (20-2, 14 KOs), put up a more spirited effort by crowding Navarrete (27-1, 23 KOs), who at 5-foot-7 enjoyed a 5-inch advantage in height over Dogboe. But Navarrete was more than comfortable on the inside and met the oncoming charges of Dogboe with an array of whipping uppercuts and straight right hands.
Navarrete hurt Dogboe in the second round and just steadily outworked him the rest of the fight. While Dogboe had pockets of success, landing several hard right hands on Navarrete, he was never truly able to hurt him.
Dogboe showed plenty of heart in fighting into the late rounds, but it was obvious that this simply would not be his night against Navarrete, who was able to neutralize the attack of Dogboe.
After going to the canvas in the sixth round from the steady onslaught of Navarrete, Dogboe was staggered again in the ninth round, and in the 11th his knees buckled from a left uppercut as he was in a neutral corner. In the 12th, a final barrage of punches sent Dogboe to the canvas again. His spirit had been willing throughout, but his body had given out by this point and his corner decided to stop the fight.
“It really surprised me that he took so many hard shots, but at the same time, he continued to throw strong punches,” Navarrete said after the fight. “I want to thank Dogboe because he gave me the opportunity to become a world champion, and now in this second fight, he gave me the opportunity to demonstrate that my first triumph wasn’t by accident and that there is a reason why I have the title.
“And to all the fighters at 122 pounds, I tell them that if they want my title, then they can come and try and take it.”
Dogboe expects to continue fighting, just not as a junior featherweight.
“Making super bantamweight is getting too difficult,” Dogboe said. “My next fight, I will be moving up to [featherweight]. I will be much more comfortable there.
“All the credit to Navarrete. I thank him for giving me the opportunity to regain my title. It just didn’t go my way tonight. I will be back at featherweight in a big way.”
- Manny Guajardo (5-0) defeated Jonathan Espino (2-4, 2 KOs) by unanimous decision in an evenly matched four-round middleweight contest. It what was a back-and-forth battle that saw both men land their share of leather. But it was Tucson’s Guajardo who came out ahead on the scorecards by the tallies of 38-38, 39-37 and 40-36.
- In the first bout of the night, junior welterweight Miguel Parra (17-1-1, 12 KOs) made quick work of David Morales (13-11, 13 KOs), flooring Morales with a straight right hand in the first. While Morales was able to survive the round, his corner waved off the fight before the beginning of the second. The fight was ruled a first-round TKO for Parra.