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Berchelt-Miura to top HBO B.A.D. tripleheader on July 15

18
May

The junior lightweight clash between Miguel Berchelt and Takashi Miura will take place on July 15 at The Forum in Inglewood, California, Golden Boy Promotions announced on Wednesday.

Berchelt-Miura headlines a live HBO ‘Boxing After Dark’ telecast.

As if the fan-friendly WBC 130-pound title bout was not enough, two more action fights will also take place on the HBO-televised portion of the card.

Jerzeel Corrales will defend his WBA 130-pound world title against Robinson Castellanos and Joe Smith and Sullivan Barrera will square off in a 12-round light heavyweight title-elimination bout.

The fight card has been in the works for the last couple of weeks and it was only a matter of time until the official announcement was made.

The clash between Berchelt and Miura has been highly-anticipated by boxing fans, as both hard-hitting fighters are aggressive and seem to compliment each other’s style.

Both fighters fought on the same card in Indio, California on January 28. Berchelt (31-1, with 28 knockouts), who resides in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, systematically broke down Francisco Vargas, eventually stopping the Mexico City favorite in Round 11. Berchelt, who has won his last 10 bouts, won the WBC title with the victory over Vargas.

“I took on this challenge, because I only want to fight the best,” said Berchelt, who is promoted by Zanfer Promotions. “I know that Miura is a true warrior and always leaves it all in the ring, but I am young and hungry and confident that I will return to Mexico with the world championship belt around my waist.”

Miura (31-3-2, with 24 KOs), a grizzled Japanese veteran, held off a strong challenge by Miguel ‘Mickey’ Roman to knock him out in Round 12. Miura is best known for his all-out war against Vargas in November 2015, where he was eventually stopped in round nine.

“I have wanted to regain my championship belt from the moment I lost it in November of 2015 (against Vargas),” said Miura. “I know Berchelt is strong. I know that we’ll go head to head for this world championship title that will prove to be a great fight.”

Corrales and Castellanos could be a solid appetizer leading into the Berchelt-Miura fight, where a unification fight could take place between the winners of each fight.

Corrales (21-1 1 NC, with 8 KOs), who signed a promotional deal with Golden Boy last month, is coming off a 12-round split decision victory over Takashi Uchiyama on December 31. Prior to that fight, Corrales, who resides in San Miguelito, Panama, won the WBA 130-pound title with a shocking second-round knockout over Uchiyama.

Castellanos (24-12, with 14 KOs), who resides in Celaya, Guanajuato, rebounded from his March 2016 knockout loss to Oscar Escandon to knock out Yuriorkis Gamboa on May 5 in Las Vegas.

“The (junior lightweight) division is absolutely stacked with skilled, high-action fighters right now,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “The four competitors atop this card are competing to see who will be the top dog. Add to that a showdown between two of the top light heavyweights in the world in Smith and Barrera, and you have all the makings of a trip of absolute wars on July 15.”

Smith (23-1, with 19 KOs) is coming off his most impressive victory of his career on December 17, when he knocked out Bernard Hopkins. Down on two judges’ scorecards entering the ninth round, Smith, who is promoted by Star Boxing, knocked Hopkins out of the ring and onto the floor to win by knockout.

Barrera (19-1, with 14 KOs) has won his last two bouts since his unanimous decision loss to Andre Ward last March. Barrera, who hails from Miami, had a bout penciled against Artur Beterbiev on April 21, but the fight fell through.

Instead, Barrera fought Paul Parker on April 15, stopping Parker in Round 5 in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing