WBC Super Featherweight Champion Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas (23-0-2, 17 KOs) and Mexican brawler and WBO Interim Super Featherweight champion Miguel “El Alacran” Berchelt (30-1, 27 KOs) hosted the final press conference ahead of their 12-round sure-fire all-action fight set for Saturday, January 28 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California and televised live on the season premiere of HBO Boxing After Dark® beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
They were joined by Vargas’ 2015 Fight of the Year opponent and former WBC Super Featherweight World Champion Takashi Miura (30-3-2, 23 KOs) of Akita, Japan, who will go head-to-head with former featherweight and lightweight contender Miguel “Mickey” Roman (56-11, 43 KOs) of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in the evening’s co-feature on January 28.
Below is what the fighters and their teams had to say at the press conference:
FRANCISCO “EL BANDIDO” VARGAS, WBC Super Featherweight Champion:
“I am thankful for all the support Golden Boy Promotions, HBO and my team have given me. 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.
“After a much needed rest, I’m ready to give the fans what they want to see. Berchelt knows that this is his opportunity to get my title, and he will be hungry inside the ring and will wage war. 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.”
MIGUEL BERCHELT, WBO Interim Super Featherweight Champion:
“I want to thank ‘El Bandido’ for offering me this fight. 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 for me and my career.”
GUILLERMO BECERRIL, Trainer to Francisco Vargas:
“Thank you to HBO and Golden Boy Promotions. Miguel is a very good fighter. He has a lot of knockouts, and I know he is coming to win, but it’s going to be very difficult to win because we are ready. We feel that Francisco Vargas is going to win this fight on Saturday.”
RAFAEL GUZMAN, Trainer to Miguel “Mickey” Roman:
“It’s going to be a very tough fight this Saturday but nothing is impossible. We know our opponent trained but we trained very hard and Mickey is going to be 100 percent on Saturday.”
MARIO ABRAHAM, Zanfer Promotions:
“When we were approached by Golden Boy on this fight, we accepted without hesitation. Berchelt is a great champion, is hungry, and has been training under the eye of Alfredo Caballero for the past two years. This is our night, and we are prepared to give the boxing world a surprise.”
TAKASHI MIURA, Former WBC Super Featherweight World Champion:
“I’d like to thank HBO, Teiken Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions. I know that Mickey Roman is a very tough and powerful fighter. I hope to beat him, and I look forward to being victorious on Saturday.”
MIGUEL “MICKEY” ROMAN, Former Featherweight and Lightweight Contender:
“Thank you all for being here. Thank you to HBO, Golden Boy Promotions and my promoter. This is going to be a very tough fight. I think it’s going to be a knockout type of fight. 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.”
ERIC GOMEZ, President of Golden Boy Promotions:
“Vargas is coming off a majority draw with Orlando ‘Siri’ Salido in a 2016 non-stop action fight that was named Fight of the Year by many and cemented Vargas’ reputation as one of the toughest boxers in the sport. He now faces a tough challenge with Miguel.
“I was worried. I didn’t want to make this fight because Berchelt is very tough. But I know that these are the type of fights that we want and need. The fights that are 50-50, where anyone can win. This is going to be a great fight. I’m still a little worried though.
“We know that the fans love knockouts, and these four guys have 110 KOs among them all. I think that speaks for itself and gives you a good idea of what Saturday night is going to be like.
“Francisco always takes on the tough fighters. He could have taken on an easier fighter after taking on Miura and Salido in his most recent fights. He has the style and heart of a champion and that’s what we love about him.
“What a great way to premiere HBO Boxing After Dark in 2017 with these two fights for Vargas vs. Berchelt and Miura vs. Roman that are guaranteed to be all-action slugfests.”
TONY WALKER, Vice President for HBO Sports:
“On behalf of Peter Nelson, I want to congratulate Golden Boy Promotions, and everyone who had a hand in making this fight. This kicks off our HBO Boxing After Dark 2017 season with a big time fight.
“Vargas has made his name known, and he is taking on an opponent who is a serious threat. It’s a terrific undercard, too. Big fights like this are always possible when you have partners like Golden Boy Promotions and Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. It’s going to be a great night.”
CHRIS LAVOIE, Public Relations Manager – Fantasy Springs Resort Casino:
“We are very proud to partner with Golden Boy Promotions on this fight. It’s a partnership that we have a cultivated, and we are thrilled to present this exciting fight. Tickets are still available so get them while you still can. We are looking forward to a great night.”
Vargas vs. Berchelt, a 12-round fight for the WBC Super Featherweight World Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Zanfer Promotions. Miura vs. Roman is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Teiken Promotions and Promociones del Pueblo The event is sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD and Casa Mexico Tequila and will take place on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, CA and will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Doors open at 3:00 p.m. PT and the first fight begins at 3:00 p.m. PT. The RingTV live stream begins at 3:00 p.m. PT.
Tickets are on sale and priced at $35, $45, $55, $75 and $105. They are available for purchase at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, by calling (800) 827-2946 or online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com.