The Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California host HBO Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions for a big night of boxing that sees a pair of 130 pound fights in the featured slots. WBC world super featherweight champion Francisco Vargas (23-0-2) defends his title for a second time as he faces the challenge of Miguel Berchelt (30-1). Vargas won the belt in November of 2015 with a “Fight of the Year” performance, stopping champion Takashi Miura of Japan in the ninth round. His lone title defense of 2016 saw him facing Orlando Salido and what resulted was a hard fought draw and a second “Fight of the Year” in a row for the Mexican Vargas. Berchelt is a hard working Mexican fighter in his own right who has paid a lot of dues and fought his way to a stellar record. He held the WBO’s interim world title, but this is his first bid at a full world title. The fight has been pick ’em for weeks and only recently slanted to list Vargas as a slight favorite. Super Featherweight 12 rounds – Miguel Berchelt +110 Francisco Vargas -130 Former WBC champion Takashi Miura (30-3-2) is also on the card as he takes on veteran Miguel Roman (56-11) in a 12-round bout that could determine the next challenger to the belt currently held by Vargas. Miura is still in the hunt for a return match, as he was up on the scorecards in his fight with Vargas before Vargas sent him to the canvas for the stoppage win. Don’t let the 11 losses on Roman’s record fool you, because the 31-year old is on an 18-fight winning streak that has seen him go undefeated since back in January of 2013. Roman is 0-2 in world title fights but he is looking for a win against Miura to push him back into the number one contender slot and one more chance at a world title. Super Featherweight 12 rounds – Miguel Roman +150 Takashi Miura -190 The other fights being offered at the sports books feature two fighters that are on the comeback trail. Middleweight Tureano Johnson (19-1) returns after missing all of 2016 due to injury. When last we saw Johnson, he was calling out Triple G Gennady Golovkin after his October of 2015 win over Eamonn O’Kane on the under card of Triple G’s bout with David Lemieux. Johnson faces Antonio Gutuerrez (21-2-1) as a big-time favorite. Welterweight prospect Sadam Ali (23-1) is an even bigger favorite as he faces trial horse Jorge Silva (22-12-2) in what is his second fight since his loss to Jessie Vargas last March for the vacant WBO world title. Middleweight 10 rounds – Antonio Gutierrez +550 Tureano Johnson -1050 Welterweight 12 rounds – Jorge Silva +1800 Sadam Ali -4500
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