Every so often a fight comes along that has fight fans feeling like it's Christmas. They know they are in for a treat. One such fight comes on November 21st when Japanese explosive Takashi Miura (29-2-2, 22) defends his WBC Super Featherweight title against unbeaten Mexican challenger Francisco Vargas (22-0-1, 16). To some fans this bout is the supporting bout to Miguel Cotto's WBC Middleweight world title defense against Saul Alvarez, to others however it's the hidden gem that will likely provide a better fight and more action than the supposed main event.
For those who haven't seen the two men in action they really are in for a treat. For those who have seen the men, they will know what to expect when the “Bomber” meets “Bandido”.
The champion is one of the sports heaviest handed champions. On paper his KO% is just 67% but that number really is misleading, and he has dropped almost everyone he has fought, including fellow champion Takashi Uchiyama, and former champions Billy Dib and Gamaliel Diaz, as well as top contenders like Sergio Thompson. In fact one of the thing that has dragged down Miura's KO% is his bouts at Lightweight, where he had to look to find opponents capable of taking his frightening power.
Miura is a 31 year old Southpaw who has really come in to his own in the last few years. To many his break out performance was his contest with Uchiyama, which he lost via 8th round TKO when his face was badly swollen. The loss was a blessing in disguise however and following it he moved over to the Teiken gym, having impressed members of the illustrious gym. It's been under Teiken that he's flourished and he's since gone 9-0 (7), claimed the WBC title and ran up 4 defenses, 3 by stoppage.
Aggressive, intelligent, hard working and of course powerful, Miura is a nightmare to fight. At times he can look wild, maybe a little predictable looking to land his left hand, but he is so devastating, so tough and so dangerous that his reputation can scare opponents. His win over Dante Jardon, another powerful puncher, seemed to prove that perfectly as Jardon fought scared and got battered in 9 one sided rounds as a result.
To beat Miura you need to move, boxer and make sure he can't land the left or over-whelm you. It sounds simple but it really isn't.
Whilst Miura is a puncher the same can also be said for Vargas, though he's less of a raw power puncher and more of a calculating combination puncher who lets his hands go, uses smart footwork to cut opponents off and looks to land a lot of solid shots. Although a solid puncher he has also shown he can box and in recent years has racked up a nice string of wins, beating the likes of Jerry Belmontes, Abner Cotto, Juan Manuel Lopez and Will Tomlinson.
Aged 30 Vargas is a man who has established himself in recent years and now looks to move on to becoming a world champion in one of the sports most under-rated divisions. Un fortunately for him he is stepping, though has looked comfortable fighting on the fringes of world class and his style is one that is always fun to watch, with a lot of punches being thrown. In term of work rate not many will match him, and better yet he's often accurate and intelligent with his output, showing some world class traits in his fights so far.
Watching Vargas, the best trait to have to beat him is to have the power and physical strength to fight him off. That however is much easier said than done and when fighters have tried that with out the power they have typically fared badly, as Lopez and Tomlinson will attest to. Miura however does have that strength and power and will likely be happy to go toe-to-toe with Vargas, which could bring out the boxer in the Mexican, if it does then Vargas will have to hope his plan B works. He can box, but the question would be can he do so against the aggression and power of Miura?
What we're expecting, or at least hoping for, is an all out war. A battle of machismo. A violent, brutal and exciting combat that gives fans a chance to really get lost in the contest. We're also expecting Miura to come out on top with his power eventually wearing away at Vargas after 9 rounds of brutal, exciting and relentless action. If however Vargas can box against Miura we could well see the title changing hands in what would be an enjoyable, but disappointing contest
World Title Previews
The biggest fights get broken down as we try to predict who will come out on top in the up coming world title bouts.