Undefeated Francisco Vargas defends his World Boxing Council Super Featherweight title Saturday against Mexican compatriot Miguel Berchelt with Japan's Takashi Miura on the undercard seeking another chance at the throne.
Vargas, 23-0 with two drawn and 17 knockouts, stopped Miura in the ninth round in November 2015 to seize the title then fought Orlando Salido to a majority draw last June, snapping his 20-fight win streak but keeping his crown.
"I'm very excited to get back into the ring after a long break after my last two fights -- two fights that were really hard," Vargas said. "After a much needed rest, I'm ready to give the fans what they want to see."
Berchelt, 30-1 with 27 knockouts, has won nine fights in a row since being stopped by Colombian Luis Florez in 2014. He has not gone the distance in a fight since 2012.
"Berchelt knows that this is his opportunity to get my title, and he will be hungry inside the ring and will wage war," Vargas said. "This title cost me a lot to win and I am not going to let it go easily. I'm taking my belt back with me."
Berchelt hopes to swipe the title from a fighter nicknamed "The Bandit."
"I want to thank 'El Bandido' for offering me this fight," he said. "I know going in that it's going to be a tough fight, and we are confident in our training and mindset going into this fight. This is a huge opportunity."
The bouts at Indio, California, also include Miura, 30-3 with two drawn and 23 knockouts, facing Mexico's Miguel Roman, 56-11 with 43 knockouts with the winner deciding the next mandatory challenger for the Vargas-Berchelt winner.
"Mickey Roman is a very tough and powerful fighter. I hope to beat him and I look forward to being victorious," said Miura, who originally was to have fought Salido before the Mexican pulled out due to injury.
Miura, 32, knocked out Filipino Jimmy Borbon last May in his most recent start. He has gone the distance only once in nine fights over the past five years. Roman, 31, has done it only once in 16 fights over the past four years but is on an 18-fight win streak.
"This is going to be a very tough fight," Roman said. "I'm going to go for the knockout from the opening bell. I know that's the style Miura has as well but I'm going to get to him first."