HBO kicks off 2017 with an action-packed doubleheader when HBO Boxing After Dark Francisco Vargas vs. Miguel Berchelt, and Takashi Miura vs. Miguel Roman takes place Saturday night from the Palm Springs Resort Casino in Palm Springs, Cal.
Undefeated super featherweight champion Francisco Vargas (23-0-2, 17 KOs) makes his 2017 debut against challenger Miguel Berchelt (30-1, 27 KOs) in a much-anticipated 12-round title showdown. Following his victory over Takashi Miura in the BWAA’s “2015 Fight of the Year,” Vargas, 31, turned in another crowd-pleasing performance in his June 2016 fight against Orlando Salido, which ended in a majority draw and was the consensus “Fight of the Year” selection.
The Mexico City native has quickly become a must-see attraction due to his relentless, come-forward fighting style, which he will need to get past his younger opponent.
Berchelt, 25, of Merida, Mexico, holds an impressive 16-fight knockout streak entering this title bout, which marks his first appearance on HBO and second outside Mexico.
In the co-main event of the evening, Takashi Miura (30-3-2, 23 KOs), Vargas’ opponent in the 2015 Fight of the Year, faces battle-tested vet Miguel Roman (56-11, 43 KOs) in a super featherweight 12-round slugfest. Tokyo’s Miura, 32, aims to use his aggressive southpaw style to beat Roman and earn another shot at the title he lost to Vargas. Roman, 31, of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, enters the fight having notched six impressive knockout victories in 2015 and 2016.