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HBO Boxing video highlights: Berchelt pummels Vargas, Miura stops Roman in final round

HBO’s first boxing event of 2017 was incredibly action-packed, with junior lightweights Miguel Berchelt and Takashi Miura both getting late stoppage wins.

On Saturday night in Indio, California, HBO’s Boxing After Dark featured a doubleheader of 130 lbs matchups, with WBC champion Francisco Vargas taking on fellow Mexican Miguel Berchelt, while Japan’s Takashi Miura faced Mexico’s Mickey Roman, also at 130 lbs. This card didn’t have nearly the fanfare as Showtime’s broadcast of Carl Frampton vs. Leo Santa Cruz 2, which was understandable given the latter was the biggest fight of the weekend, but the HBO broadcast was just a giant helping of violence heaped on top of more violence.

Miura (31-3-2, 24 KOs) and Roman (56-12, 43 KOs) went to war for twelve absolutely ruthless rounds. The tables permanently turned in round 10, when Miura threw one of the nastiest, hardest body shots I’ve ever seen. Roman collapsed in a world of pain, but somehow managed to beat the count and fight on. This spelled the beginning of the end for Roman, who fell under a barrage of punches in round 11, and then was dropped one more time in round 12. A terrific KO win for Miura and a truly gutsy showing by Roman, even in defeat.

As for the main event, Vargas (23-1-2, 17 KOs) was making his second title defense after dramatically stopping Miura to win the belt in November 2015. Vargas had fought to a draw with Orlando Salido last June, in one of the best fights of the year. Saturday’s battle with Berchelt (31-1, 28 KOs) was another thrilling war, but it was one he would not win. Both men threw fierce punches and kept up a ferocious pace, and rocked each other just in round two alone. Berchelt pulled away in the second half of the fight, busting up Vargas and opening up a nasty cut above his left eye. His edge in power was a major advantage, and Vargas was absorbing damaging blows to his head and to the body. Roy Jones Jr. said on HBO commentary that Vargas’ corner should throw in the towel, but referee Raul Caiz was the one who spared Vargas from additional punishment in the 11th round. Berchelt is now the new WBC 130 lbs champion, and he did so by landing 430/947 punches (45%).

Video highlights of Vargas vs. Berchelt can be seen at the top of the page.

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