By Dan Ambrose: WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt (36-1, 32 KOs) battered former WBC 135 pound champion Francisco Vargas (25-2, 18 KOs) in stopping him in the sixth round in their rematch on Saturday night at the Convention Center, Tucson, Arizona. The mismatch was stopped by the 34-year-old Vargas’ corner after the sixth. The fight painfully one-sided and not evenly competitive.
Vargas was taking massive punishment in the first three rounds of the contest. His face was badly reddened, nose bleeding, and his appearance looked like the fighter that had started the fight just nine minutes earlier. Vargas’s corner arguably could have stopped the mismatch by the third round, because he was getting worked over by the younger, stronger and much more talented 27-year-old Berchelt.
‘El Bandito’ Vargas was coming forward the entire time looking to land his hard shots, but he was paying for every inch of real estate that he would take as he walked forward. Berchelt was connecting with repeated left and right hooks. Most of the shots that Berchelt threw in the fight were hook, which Vargas could have countered if he was thinking clearly. With all the shots that Vargas was eating, you can’t blame him for not thinking too clearly in there.
Like in the first fight between them, Vargas looked like a shot punching bag, and took endless punishment. It was a crazy idea for Vargas to fight Berchelt in a rematch tonight, but the payday made it worthwhile obviously. In the first fight between Berchelt and Vargas in 2017, Berchelt stopped him in the 11th round. That fight was one-sided too, but not to the same extent as tonight’s match. Vargas was a little younger than at 32, and was still an active fighter. Going into tonight’s rematch, Vargas had only fought twice in beating lower level fighters Rod Salka and Stephen Smith. The way that Vargas had been matched in his last two fights, it seemed pretty obvious that his promoters at Top Rank were ramping him up for a payday fight rematch against Berchelt. It’s good that Vargas got a payday, but it was a horrible fight for the boxing fans. It would be better if Top Rank matched Berchelt against good fighters still in their prime like Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez, Eduardo Hernandez, Joseph Diaz Jr., or Gervonta Davis.
The boxing fans want to see Berchelt face Vasiliy Lomachenko. Hopefully, Top Rank will put that fight together. The fans don’t want to see another retread fght between Berchelt and Vargas.