Two anticipated rematches headline a Top Rank card on ESPN on Saturday May 11, 2019 at the Tucson Arena inside the Tucson Convention Center.

The headliner is the WBC super featherweight title bout between Miguel Berchelt and Francisco Vargas. In the co-main event, Emmanuel Navarrete and Isaac Dogboe run back their December 2018 scrap for the WBO super bantamweight title.

“Boxing" Miguel Berchelt vs Francisco Vargas

Berchelt is the #1 ranked super featherweight in the world and is currently the #9 ranked pound for pound fighter in the world. The 27-year old from Cancun in Mexico first won the interim WBO super featherweight title by knocking out George Jupp in 2016. He challenged and dethroned Francisco Vargas in a thrilling 2017 bout for the WBC super featherweight belt, knocking out El Bandido in the 11th round.

Since beating Vargas, Berchelt has turned the corner. He won a 12-round unanimous decision over Takashi Miura and then recorded knockout wins over  Maxwell Awuku, Jonathan Victor Barros and Miguel Roman. Overall, Berchelt has won 13 out of his last 14 bouts by stoppage.

El Alacran has a record of 35-1 with 31 knockouts with his only loss a first round TKO at the hands of unknown Luis Eduardo Florez in 2014. Berchelt stands 5-7 and has a reach of 71 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. The Merida resident is promoted by Top Rank and Zanfer Promotions.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds from Mybookie as of 5/08/19

Francisco Vargas is a former Olympian who represented Mexico in the 2008 Olympic games. As a pro, he gained notice after earning wins over Jerry Belmontes, Abner Cotto and Juan Manuel Lopez. In 2015, Vargas won the WBC super featherweight title by knocking out Takashi Miura in 9 rounds. He defended the belt with a draw against Orlando Salido before losing the title to Berchelt in their first bout.

Since that loss, Vargas has bounced back. He was impressive in a 9th round technical decision win over Stephen Smith in December 2017. Then Vargas returned to action in April 2018 to stop fringe contender Rod Salka in six rounds. Vargas has not fought since beating Salka and it will be over a year since he last fought when he steps in the ring against Berchelt.

El Bandido has a record of 25-1-2 with 18 knockouts. He stands 5-8 tall with a reach of 70 inches. He is 2-1-1 in his last four bouts with the loss dealt by Berchelt and the draw from the Salido fight. Vargas had to wait an extra two month after Berchelt suffered a hand injury while training.

“Boxing" Who Wins?

I think Berchelt will win this fight and stop Vargas earlier than he did the first time out. I’m not saying this will be a one-sided fight because given his warrior mentality, Vargas is going to make this count early on. But while Vargas has looked the same Vargas from the first bout, Berchelt has become a much more better fighter since they first met.

The 27-year old Berchelt has had four bouts since then while the 34-year old Vargas has fought just twice since their first encounter. Berchelt won three of those bouts (all title defenses) by knockout while Vargas won via technical decision and retirement. But while Berchelt last four in November, Vargas hasn’t fought since April 2018 which means ring rust could be a factor for the older Vargas.

Berchelt has become a top pound for pound fighter since beating Vargas. And he’s learned a lot since then. I can’t say the same for Vargas whose “Bandido” style has always been his style since we got to know him. Vargas is one of the best action-packed fighters we’ve seen in his weight class but I think Berchelt has blossomed into a true superstar since their first bout. Comparing them from their first bout wouldn’t do both justice at all. Even the betting odds think so and that’s why Berchelt is a heavy boxing betting favorite here. Prediction: Miguel Berchelt

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“Boxing" Emmanuel Navarrete vs Isaac Dogboe

Navarrete upset Dogboe last December 8, 2019 in the undercard of Lomachenko vs Pedraza. In that bout, the two fighters engaged in a well-fought boxing match. Navarrete was the underdog in that fight simply because he wasn’t in a big fight before. However, he proved that he belonged to the level of elites as he outclassed Dogobe and won with the scores of 116-112, 116-112 and 115-113.

The 24-year old Vaquero has a record of 26-1 with 22 knockouts. He stands 5-7 with a 72-inch reach while fighting out of the orthodox stance. Navarette’s only loss came in his 6th professional bout, to unknown Daniel Argueta via unanimous decision. He has won 21 straight bouts since that defeat.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds from Mybookie as of 5/08/19

Dogboe represented Ghana at the 2012 Olympic games. After fighting mostly in his native Accra, Dogboe brought an 18-0 record to the United States to take on Jessie Magdaleno in April 2018. Dogboe scored an 11th round TKO win over Magdaleno to become the WBO super bantamweight champion. He defended his title once,  knocking out Hidenori Otake in one round, before losing the belt to Navarette last December.

The 24-year old Ghanaian fighter has a record of 20-1 with 14 knockouts. He stands 5-2 with a reach of 66 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. Dogboe is looking to bounce back from his first professional loss and will have to do so against the man who beat him. He enters the fight as a slight betting underdog.

“Boxing" Who Wins?

Dogboe was a heavy favorite in their first bout but we knew how that one ended. Some are calling it a fluke but when you have a fighter who has a 5-inch advantage in height and an 8-inch advantage in reach, that’s almost a mismatch. The first bout wasn’t a mismatch because Dogboe is the much better overall boxer between the two. However, Dogboe found it hard to impose his will while trying to deal with Navarrete’s physicality.

Unless Dogboe grew five inches in height and eight inches in reach overnight, I don’t see this fight ending differently. Navarette won the first bout because he used his size and length to his advantage. Dogboe couldn’t solve him despite trying anything. So Unless Dogboe does something really extraordinary, I don’t think he’s going to win this fight. Prediction: Emmanuel Navarrete

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