LOS ANGELES: Miguel Berchelt retained his WBC world title on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) with a unanimous decision over former champion Takashi Miura in the first defence of his super featherweight belt.
Mexico’s Berchelt won almost every round and it showed on the lopsided scorecards but the unflinching Miura fought on pride and looked like he could have knocked the champion out at any moment.
“I was prepared because I knew I was facing an ex champion,” said Berchelt. “He has the toughest left hand in the division. He was hitting me and hurting me sometimes.
“But I was always the better fighter.”
The judges scored the fight 116-111, 120-109 and 119-108 for the 33-year-old Berchelt who won the title with an 11th round upset victory over Francisco Vargas in January.
Japan’s Miura (31-4-2, 24 KOs) was hoping to reclaim the WBC title which he held for more than two years before losing to Vargas in 2015.
Berchelt set the tone early in the 12-round clash at the Los Angeles Forum as he dropped Miura late in the first round and rocked him with a hard punch in the fifth round that snapped the challenger’s head back.
Down on points heading into the sixth round, Miura went looking for the knockout and it didn’t seem like a bad strategy for the Japanese dynamo who had 24 career knockouts coming into the bout.
But Berchelt’s defence was too strong and his plan to land a mixture of head and body shots allowed him to score ample points with the judges.