By Jake Donovan
The ESPN-televised main event and co-feature both promise to feature plenty of drama in the ring. Fortunately, there wasn’t any at the scale.
Miguel Berchelt and Francisco Vargas made weight for the super featherweight title fight rematch, which airs live from Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Ariz. (Saturday, ESPN, 10:00pm ET/7:00pm PT and local time).
Berchelt (35-1, 31KOs) weighed 130 on the nose for the fifth defense of the 130-pound title he violently snatched from Vargas more than two years ago. The streaking Mexican slugger—who has won his last 14 starts—weighed 129¾ pounds on that Jan. 2017 night, where he rallied for an 11th round stoppage to ignite his current reign.
Vargas (25-1-2, 18KOs) also checked in right at the 130-pound limit for the rematch, slightly heavier than the 129½ pounds he weighed for his title-relinquishing stoppage loss. The 34-year old from Mexico City had reigned for just 14 months—his off-the-canvas 9th round knockout of Takashi Miura to win the title being hailed as the 2015 Fight of the Year, with his 12-round draw versus Orlando Salido in June 2016 every bit the thriller.
The pair of fights took plenty out of Vargas, who looked run down in the back half of his loss to Berchelt. He’s since won two straight but has been out of the ring since last April.
Their headlining act is one of two rematches on the show, aptly billed Twice As Nice.
Opening the telecast, Emanuel Navarrete hopes to prove his title winning effort is twice as nice as he’s prepared to run it back with former champ Isaac Dogboe. Both boxers made weight on the first try for their 122-pound title affair, neither having fought since their first meeting five months ago.
Navarrete (26-1, 22KOs)—sporting a hand-written "Feliz Día de Madre" ("Happy Mother's Day") sign on the scale—weighed 121.6 pounds, slightly lighter than when he was 122 on the dot in his title-lifting effort last December. Dogboe (20-1, 14KOs) checked in at 121.4 pounds, slightly heavier than the 120¾ pounds he weighed in his first career loss, which ended his brief but thrilling title reign at just over seven months.
The balance of the eight-card show will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT and local time.
Topping the livestream, Uzbekistan’s Fazliddin Gaibnazarov takes on his most significant opponent to date as he faces Maryland’s Mykal Fox in a 10-round super lightweight heat.
Gaibnazarov (7-0, 4KOs)—a two-time Olympian and 2016 Olympic Gold medalist—weighed 141.8 pounds, while Fox (19-1, 5KOs)—a 6’3 ½” southpaw from Upper Marlboro, Md. checked in at 142 pounds. Fox’s older brother is 6’5” middleweight contender Alantez Fox, the two billing themselves as The Twin Towers.
Miguel Berchelt 130 lbs. vs. Francisco Vargas 130 lbs.—12 rds, super featherweight
Emanuel Navarrete 121.6 lbs. vs. Isaac Dogboe 121.4 lbs.—12 rds, super bantamweight
Fazliddin Gaibnazarov 141.8 lbs. vs. Mykal Fox 142 lbs.—10 rds., super lightweight
Miguel Marriaga 136.2 lbs. vs. Ruben Cervera 136 lbs.—8 rds, lightweight
Carlos Castro 121 lbs. vs. Mario Alberto Diaz 121.2 lbs.—10 rds, super bantamweight
Miguel Angel Parra 142 lbs. vs. David Morales 140.2 lbs.—6 rds, super lightweight
Emmanuel Guajardo 156 lbs. vs. Jonathan Espino 156 lbs.—4 rds, super welterweight
Carlos Velasquez 133.2 lbs. vs. Demetrius Romeo Mora 132.6 lbs—4 rds, lightweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox