Miguel Berchelt (35-1, 31 KOs) successfully defended his WBC 130lb title tonight on ESPN+, stopping a game Mickey Roman in 9 rounds of their main event. With that being said, Roman might’ve showed more heart in this loss than I’ve seen in just about any fighter, ever.
The two fighters were battling early, with Berchelt just edging the rounds on my unofficial scorecard. But as the fight wore on Berchelt’s combination punching and pace starting making a difference in the fight, wearing on Roman. Roman just wouldn’t back down, though. Roman, the smaller man, continued to walk right in on Berchelt and look for power shots. He even found a home for an overhand right that repeatedly stung Berchelt. And every time Roman landed a good punch, the crowd went wild.
But in the 6th round the accumulated punishment had begun to take its toll on Roman. Berchelt visibly hurt Roman a number of times, but just couldn’t put him down, yet then threw a flurry of body punches that made Roman finally crumble. Roman would make it back to his feet, but only to have Berchelt hit him with a right hook that put him right back down. Roman still got back to his feet, however, unwilling to give into the situation.
Roman would come out in the next round still willing to apply the pressure on Berchelt and make an action fight of it. The only problem was that Roman was badly hurt by this point and just couldn’t really sustain any momentum, even though his heart was clearly in it.
Berchelt would touch Roman up some more in the 9th with a combination that put him back down. And Roman, as usual, would get back to his feet.
Roman would make a valiant effort to make a final stand but would get assaulted again along the ropes which finally prompted the referee to step in and wave off the fight. The contest officially ended at 2:58 of Round 9.
Final CompuBox stats had Berchelt landing 276 of 843 total punches (32.7%) while Roman landed 167 of 626 total punches (26.7%).
During the post-fight interview Berchelt said this was his toughest fight ever, which is really saying something considering his notable battles against Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura.