When we look to doing our Closet Classic pieces we like to mix up fights we expect Western fans to have seen and some they haven't. Today's is one where we expect a lot of Western fans to have seen, but maybe not seen recently. It is, however, one of those bouts that is truly worth a rewatch, and is one of the best bouts we saw in 2015. In fact it's genuinely one of the best bouts from the last decade, with power shots being thrown by both men, both being hurt, and the action being thrilling. It was the type of fight where both men were perfectly well matcher, and heading in anticipation was high based on the men involved.
Takashi Miura (29-2-2, 22) Vs Francisco Vargas (22-0-1, 16)
Heading into the fight Japan's Takashi Miura was the WBC Super Featherweight champion. He had gained a reputation as a Mexi-killer, after beating the likes of Gamaliel Diaz, Sergio Thompson, Dante Jardon and Edgar Puerta, and was seeking his 5th defense of the WBC title. Although Miura was making his US debut here he had managed to be on the radar of plenty of fans due to bout with Sergio Thompson, which took place in Mexico, his loss to Takashi Uchiyama, and the fact he'd beaten the well known Billy Dib. He wasn't a star as such, but was well known among hardcore fans as an exciting, heavy handed, southpaw slugger. He was a truly destructive fighter, and the fact 7 of his wins had come by decision gave off the wrong perception. He hit harder than his record suggested.
Mexico's Francisco Vargas was the WBC mandatory challenger for Miura and was building a reputation as a must watch fighter. Win or lose Vargas was a thrill a minute fighter, and had been on a great run whilst building his name in the US. Coming in to this he had beaten notable fighters like Jerry Belmontes, Abner Cotto, Juan Manuel Lopez and Will Tomlinson. He was regarded as a serious action fighter who pressed the fight, fought at a high pace and had serious power. He was grinding opponents down, and whether they survived the distance or not they were getting beaten up be the man dubbed "Bandito". For him not only was the WBC title on the line, but also Mexican pride and a chance to avenge his fellow Mexican fighters who had been unable to take the title from "Bomber Left".
From the off we knew to expect an explosive clash, and that's exactly what we got. The first round saw both men jockeying for ring control whilst looking to unleash their power. This saw both men landing some huge shots, and at one point Miura was badly hurt, before finding the space to fire back, and land a left hand. It wasn't enough to slow the Mexican's pressure, but was enough to get himself some space to recover. From there we had a brilliant clash of styles, and both men being rocked, hurt and dropped.
In round 4 it was Miura's power that had a major break through, as he dropped Vargas and left the Mexican badly cut. Vargas was likely fortunate that the round was close to over by the time he was dropped and saw out the remainder without being caught. He then bounced back, worked his way back into the fight, before being left looking close to done at the end of round 8.
We won't ruin anything else from this one,but we will say this is a must watch fight, and was regarded by many as the 2015 Fight of the Year. It was dramatic in the extreme and amazingly exciting, brutal and saw both men taking serious punishment.
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features