HBO results: Miguel Berchelt decisions Takashi Miura
Miguel “El Alacran” Berchelt retained his WBC junior lightweight title on Saturday night via unanimous decision win over Takashi Miura. The contest was the main event of tripleheader on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark,” held at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
“I knew this fight was going to be won with intelligence. Miura is a warrior and fought till the end,” said Berchelt, who earned wide scores of 120-109, 119-108, 116-111 but endured a grueling second half of the fight, thanks to the determined slugger from Japan. “Miura has the toughest left hand in the division. He kept coming forward and, when he connected, his punches – they did hurt. I knew I was going to fight an ex-world champion, so I prepared myself well. I have proven that I am the best by taking on the two toughest champions in the division with Vargas and Miura. I am ready to fight anyone.”
Berchelt, 32-1 (28), got off to a tremendous start, not only after scoring a knockdown with his left hand but flat-out dominating the first half of the fight with a jab that settled his distance and gave Miura no room to get within striking distance. The Mexican also showed great footwork that helped keep his pace from being disrupted and, by the fourth round, the fight would’ve been unsettling for anyone looking for a competitive fight but Miura started to find range in the fifth.
Miura, 31-4-2 (24), wasn’t exactly winning rounds, at this point, but he tried making it a dog fight with Berchelt in the middle rounds, often hitting on the break. Some of those shots strayed behind the head. Miura was warned by referee Raul Caiz Sr. for the rabbit punches and served a timely break for Berchelt in the seventh when Takashi was starting to get into the fight progressively. In the the following round, action started to heat up, when, in an exchange, Berchelt landed a left hand that badly wobbled Miura. In the moment, it seemed to be a reconfirmation of who had the upper hand in this one but Miura’s reaction going forward was something else.
The final third of the fight had the most compelling back-and-forth action and Miura changed everything by digging to Berchelt’s body. It slowly sucked the wind out of Berchelt and, noticeably, his mood started to change. Some gruesome exchanges began to take place as Miura lunged in with his left hand but he couldn’t land the shot necessary to pull off a comeback win.
Jezreel Corrales, 22-1 (8), successfully defended his WBA junior lightweight title via technical decision (94-94, 96-92, 94-93) win over Robinson Castellanos after the fight was stopped in the 10th round due to a nasty cut suffered by the Mexican from was ruled an accidental clash of heads.
“I am honestly so sad,” said Castellanos, 24-13 (14), who dropped Corrales twice in the third round to make things interesting. “That headbutt should have disqualified him; it could have been fatal. I knew, coming in, that I was in enemy territory; however, I felt that I was ahead on the cards. I feel terrible.”
“I knew this would be an interesting fight. I am so happy about the victory,” said Corrales, who repaid a knockdown in the seventh with his left hand. “This is probably the best fight that I’ve had in my career so far. I’m looking at tonight’s main event as one of my future opponents.”
In the opening bout of the HBO telecast, Sullivan Barrera outboxed Joe Smith Jr. to a unanimous decision (97-92 twice, 96-93) win after getting up off the canvas in the first round.
“I feel very happy about this win. Joe Smith Jr. is a great champion and I respect him very much,” said Barrera, who won the WBC International light heavyweight title from Smith, “This title wouldn’t have been possible without my amazing team and my father here tonight was also amazing. When Smith Jr. knocked me down in the first round, I got back up ’cause that’s who I am. In my fight with (Vyacheslav) Shabranskyy (last December), the same thing happened. I shot back up to get the victory.”
“Sullivan Barrera fought a good fight and I congratulate him,” said Smith, who couldn’t establish any sort of jab to counter Barrera’s. While he did have the edge in power, the right hands and left hooks missed often because they weren’t set up by anything. While his eraser lingered throughout the 10 rounds, Barrera landed at will, at times, and showcased an uppercut that had Smith’s head snapping backward all night.