Advertisement: IBO Boxing
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com
Advertisement

Berchelt-Vargas, Navarrete-Dogboe - Uncertain Sequels

image

By Cliff Rold

Rematches happen for a lot of reasons in boxing.

The best reason is a first fight so good it created instant demand for a sequel. Just two weeks ago, Jr. bantamweight Juan Francisco Estrada and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai met for the second time after putting on one of 2018’s best fights. It wasn’t quite as good the second time around but they delivered more than their share again. Surely few would be surprised, or upset, by a rubber match down the road.

Zale-Graziano, Ali-Frazier, Morales-Barrera, Pacquiao-Marquez…all those pairings, those lasting rivalries, started with a first epic contest.

They are the best kind of rematches.

This Saturday on ESPN (10 PM EST), we have something else. It’s a pair of rematches from fights that had clear, decisive winners the first time around, no notable clamor for more, and yet a hint of their own intrigue. The best fight of the night, on paper, might well be Fox’s Jr. middleweight main event between unified titlist Jarrett Hurd and dangerous challenger Julian Williams.

That show begins before the ESPN broadcast and the amount of overlap between the two remains to be determined. It’s at least easy to say ESPN has a show worth flipping to afterwards.

In the main event, WBC 130 lb. titlist Miguel Berchelt (35-1, 31 KO) will attempt his fifth defense against the man he stopped for the strap in January 2018, Francisco Vargas (25-1-2, 18 KO). In the co-feature, newly minted WBO 122 lb. titlist Emmanuel Navarrete (26-1, 22 KO) faces an immediate return from the man he bested for the belt last December, Isaac Dogboe (20-1, 14 KO).

DPDutLdogboe-navarrete_(2)

A wise betting man, after viewing the first encounters from both these pairs, would follow the chalk.

Saturday, that may well be the right course of action.

The first Berchelt-Vargas fight was an exciting piece of business. On paper, one could think it was closer than it ultimately was. Vargas was even on one card and down only six rounds to four on two others when he was stopped in the eleventh round.

The flow of the fight in real time, the mounting punishment, and the escalating takeover of the victor speak to the heavy advantage the younger Berchelt will carry into the return. Vargas, at 35, picked up a lot of wear in Fight of the Year winning wars against Takashi Miura and Orlando Salido. The wear was showing in the later rounds with Berchelt.

If there is a glimmer of hope for Vargas, it is in his preservation. He’s fought only twice since the loss to Berchelt and managed not to take the sort of heavy punishment he had in the three fights before that. Berchelt has been stopped before, if in a way that suggests years later it was more a hiccup than indicator of perpetual vulnerability.

It feels like a long shot but that’s not the same as none.

And, really, does it matter whether Vargas can or does win for most fans this weekend? Vargas typically puts on a hell of a show. This might not be a rematch masses of viewers demanded, but it’s also not one anyone is likely to want to miss if they are familiar with either guy.

Navarrete-Dogboe II might be the bigger wild card.

Dogboe was riding some real momentum into the first fight. Not only was he winning in the ring, the Ghanaian was winning a fan base outside it. Some were even suggesting he might be a pound-for-pound player in the making.

Navarrete pounded that idea aside, at least for now. The magnitude of the upset for viewers varied; some had seen Navarrete on the way up and knew he was a threat, but most were still surprised at the nature of the outcome. He was too big, too strong, and too good the first time around. In the return, Navarrete will still be bigger and stronger. They might hit the scale at the same weight on Friday but the eyes didn’t lie when they were in the ring.

Navarrete is listed at the same height (5’7) and with an inch more reach (72”) than Berchelt who will be defending two divisions higher. Dogboe is still 5’2, still has an eight-inch disadvantage in reach, and still has to prove he can solve a foe that might ultimately be part of Top Rank’s answer to the question of who they can find for featherweight titlist Oscar Valdez.

Still, both men are only 24 and young fighters can prove adaptable. Navarrete and Berchelt look like they should win, but what it they don’t? After all, the past can be prologue only until it isn’t.

It was just in February of this year that light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev pulled together one of the best performances of his career to avenge a knockout loss to Eleider Alvarez. It was a special performance from a fighter who was a single round on the scorecards away from perhaps universal acclaim as the best light heavyweight of his generation in his first Andre Ward fight.

Special performances don’t happen all the time and often the reasons a fighter won the first time are the reasons they win again the next. But what if an aging warrior has one more trick up his sleeve?

What if a young Dogboe can find dimensions no one knew he had, that he himself had never had to find, before this weekend?

It doesn’t always have to be the next chapter in one of the great sagas. Sometimes it’s enough for there to just be enough of a question about what might unfold to keep it interesting.    

Cliff Rod is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by MexicanStyle#1 on 05-09-2019

Wow...cannot beleive this thread does not have more traffic.... this card is the most entertaining of the year.... FOTY candidates throughout the entire card... terribly amazed that self called hardcore fans seem to not care... pseudo fans more like it...…

Comment by microMXL on 05-09-2019

Vargas is going to get mauled

Comment by jonnyc420 on 05-09-2019

Honestly see no difference in either fight, same guys ought to win. Vargas went through too much punishment too soon. Dogboe is just too small. He is technically better but too many physical advantages are held opposite of him.

Comment by Clegg on 05-09-2019

Good read, I see Vargas as the most likely to surprise people, taking it easy since the first fight will have been good for his body but 35 just seems too late to get maximum benefit from that. Expecting the…

Comment by Letmaku on 05-09-2019

Bertchelt shoul be able to put Vargas to sleep inside six rounds for Loma fight.

ADD COMMENT VIEW COMMENTS (6)
Advertisement
Top Headlines
Joshua-Pulev: Hearn Reveals Small Crowd Plan For Fall Event Josh Warrington Warns 'Gobshite' Shakur Stevenson: I Won't Wait! Javier Fortuna Extends Promotional Pact With Sampson Boxing Haney Hasn't Talked With Mayweather About Training Him Full-Time Holyfield: I Wanted To Bite Tyson Back, But They Always Catch The Second Person Fury: I Wouldn't Pay Wilder 10 Grand To Step Aside; Would Rather Give Him Good Hiding Again Roney Hines Vows To Be Patient For Big Fights, Not Looking To Rush Lee Eaton: Good, Competitive Fights Must Happen When Boxing Returns Roy Jones Says He's Willing To Fight Mike Tyson or Evander Holyfield Groves Still Disagrees: I Never, Ever Needed Saving in First Froch Fight! Whyte vs. Ngannou: Hearn Says Really Good Chance It Could Happen Joseph Diaz's Plans: Beat Farmer Again, Then 'Huge' Fight With Mares Vitor Belfort on Training With Mike Tyson: Takes a lot of Courage To Return at 53 Jaime Munguia Continues To Train, Hopes To Return Very Soon Gervonta Davis is Motivated By Skeptics Who Underestimate Him Pascal: I Returned To Boxing To Not Leave Any Regrets May 30 Show in Santo Domingo To Adopt WBA Safety Protocol Arum Doesn't Want Stevenson To Vacate Title Unless He Knows He's Staying At 130 Jack Culcay Back on June 12 in Berlin, After Event Application Approved Tyson Fury Supports Ring Return of Mike Tyson, Explains Why Usyk Smiles: Chisora Can Throw All He Wants - He Needs To Land Javier Martinez, 5x National Champion, To Turn Pro Under Split-T Management Promoter: Otto Wallin Can Be Ready in Near Future For Whyte, Joshua Jose Ramirez: I Can See Josh Taylor Fight Happening At O2 Arena In London Charlie Edwards Inks Promotional Pact With Frank Warren Saunders: Main Goal Is To Get 'Ginger B-llocks' Canelo In The Ring Ellerbe: Tank Can't Look Past Santa Cruz; There's A Reason Why Leo Called Him Out Buatsi: I Have To Learn To Be Able To Hang With Beterbiev, Bivol Olympic hero/nursing school grad? Trials champ Fulghum chasing peculiar double dip Kieran Gething Making The Best of Things in Lockdown Mike Tyson Explains How Wild Lifestyle With Women Cost Him His Fortune Whyte Warns Chisora: You Want To Get Brutally Knocked Out Again? Tyson Fury: Wilder Will Be More Dangerous Than The Last Fight! Canada's Boxing Gyms Are Carefully Weighing How To Reopen Munguia Has Good Chance To Knock Golovkin Out, Says Beltran Carlos Baldomir Files Appeal, Attempts To Get Out of Prison Hearn Believes Fury Will Retire After Two-Fight Series With Joshua Wanderlei Silva Claims $10 Million Offer From BKFC For Mike Tyson Joseph Parker Ring Return Might Land in Queenstown Holyfield: If Mike Tyson Throws Bombs, I'll Throw Bombs Right Back
Advertisement
Advertisement
Latest Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement