By Marc Livitz::What many predicted would be a barn burning, hard punching epic between WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt and Takashi Miura didn’t exactly turn out as such. Rather, a masterclass by Berchelt kept the man with one-punch knockout power away for the majority of the night and he was awarded a unanimous decision win at the Forum in Los Angeles.
The opening round was much a case of a determination of distance between orthodox champion Berchelt (32-1, 28 KO’s) and southpaw Miura (31-4-2, 24 KO’s). A quick left hook dropped Takashi in the last thirty seconds of the period. Miguel timed his right and followed up with the left. Miura wasn’t hurt in any way, yet he’d still likely lost the round on points. Berchelt danced around the ring and made his Japanese opponent chase him in the second. He know better than to move to his right, which would be Miura’s left. The second appeared to be his as well. Miguel connected with jabs and rights in the third, yet missed on occasion due to Takashi’s nice footwork and head movement. The former champion from Tokyo was able to tag his foe from Yucatán state in the midsection. Berchelt displayed quick punching output complete with left hooks early on in the fourth. He landed impressive body shot combinations a minute later.
With one third of the contest in the books, "El Alacran" Berchelt appeared to be ahead four rounds to zero. The left hooks of Berchelt were easily keeping Miura at bay in the fifth, although Takashi was able to sneak in a straight left of his own. Miguel was simply faster and continued to allow Miura to walk right into his shots. Takashi was looking to land one clean difference maker and although he missed, his effort was getting closer. Successive right hands for Miguel canceled out Miura’s best round as the bout reached its halfway mark. Takashi continued to follow his Mexican opponent in the seventh, who kept punching over Miura’s right hand.
Clearly, the Japanese challenger was looking to connect with with one left hand to end the night. This wasn’t in any way like his epic in 2015 with Francisco Vargas. Miguel Berchelt wasn’t looking for a firefight. He wasn’t interested in banging away or trading hard shots. His approach was working. A hard left hand upstairs wobbled Miura in the eighth but had the favor returned shortly thereafter. Each competitor showed flashes of hard shots but they began to tie up more, perhaps to catch some oxygen.
Takashi’s face was a shade of pink as the ninth commenced and as before, one man essentially chased the other. A nice body shot slowed Miura, who managed to fire right back and catch Berchelt on the retreat. The man from Japan would likely need a knockout to have a chance by this point. Miura threw lefts to the body in the tenth, yet his approach left him wide open to return shots from the Mexican champion. Berchelt was easily winning, yet the relentless body shots from Miura may have taken a toll of sorts. Takashi landed two hard lefts to the face in the opening minute of round eleven. Miguel fired back with a body punch of his own before he peppered Miura’s face with unanswered punches.
One round remained. Berchelt would only need to stay on his feet to prevail, while Miura would need to separate Miguel’s feet from the canvas to win. They exchanged a touch of gloves to commence the twelfth and final round.
The story of the night.....Miguel Berchelt’s left hand. It found a home all night long. He wasn’t going to allow Miura to take him out. The bell ended matters and unless Max DeLuca, Mauro Di Fiore and Hubert Minn disagreed with their own eyes, Berchelt appeared to be the victor via unanimous fashion.
The scorecards read 116-111, 119-108 and 120-109, all to "El Alacran" Berchelt.