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Fast Results from El Paso: Berchelt by TKO 9 Over Out-gunned Mickey Roman

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  • Fast Results from El Paso: Berchelt by TKO 9 Over Out-gunned Mickey Roman

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    By Arne K. Lang

    The match between defending WBC 130-pound champion Miguel Berchelt and Miguel “Mickey” Roman promised to be a high intensity firefight and it started out that way before degenerating into a one-sided beatdown. And to the disappointment of the crowd, Roman, the underdog from neighboring Juarez, was on the wrong side of it.

    Through the first five rounds, Roman continually stalked Berchelt, occasionally finding a home for his overhand right, even after being staggered by a right-left combination in the third frame. But those punches were a harbinger of things to come. Roman, who has a fighting heart as big as the Grand Canyon, absorbed a terrific amount of punishment before the bout was belatedly stopped with two seconds left in round nine.

    Berchelt, who improved to 35-1 with his 31st knockout, knocked Roman down twice in round six, the first the result of a series of body shots and the second the result of a left hook upstairs. But Roman, although badly hurt, didn’t fold. In the ninth, he was knocked down again and being strafed against the ropes when referee Jon Schorle intervened. Berchelt improved to 35-1 with his 31st knockout and served notice that he may be the best 130-pound boxer in the sport, a list that includes WBA title holders Gervonta Davis and Alberto Machado. Roman, a veteran of 73 fights, suffered his 13th defeat.

    In the co-feature, Columbia’s Miguel Marriaga, (27-3, 22 KOs) won his third straight after back-to-back defeats in world title fights with a fourth round stoppage of Tijuana’s Jose Estrella (20-15-1). After two nondescript rounds, Marriaga seized control in the third, punishing Estrella against the ropes after knocking him down with a hard left hook. He continued his assault in the fourth, ending matters with a body punch that left Estrella on the canvas, writhing in pain.


    In a lightweight contest slated for 10 rounds, Riverside, California’s Saul “Neno” Rodriguez made short work of Claudio Tapia, dismissing the 38-year-old Argentine trial horse in the second round. Rodriguez, who improved to 22-0-1 (16), scored three knockdowns before the bout was halted at the 1:57 mark. Tapia declined to 28-19-4.

    In a junior lightweight affair, Robson Conceicao (10-0, 5 KOs) cruised to an 8-round unanimous decision over Nova Scotia’s Joey Laviolette (9-2). This was the fourth time in his last five starts that Conceicao, an Olympic gold medalist for Brazil, was extended the full route. The rap on him is that he lacks a big punch and is too much the technician (translation: boring), which makes it unlikely that he will develop a following in the English-speaking world.

    Janibek Alimkhanuly, a decorated amateur from Kazakhstan, made a big jump up in class in his fourth pro fight and labored to turn away Vaughn Alexander in an 8-round super middleweight contest, winning by split decision. The older brother of former two-division world titlist Devon Alexander, Alexander has now lost two straight after opening his splintered career 12-0.

    Photo credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank