Greatest Hit #14 Miura vs Vargas


  • Japan's Takashi Miura (29-2-2, 22KO's) makes the fifth defense of his WBC strap against the undefeated Mexican, Francisco Vargas (22-0-1, 16KO's). While Miura has defended his belt four times, I can't say it's been against the best of opposition.
  • Arguably, Miura's career best win was against Billy Dib in May of this year. Dib is a decent fighter, nothing spectacular, he was actually beating Miura until his leaky defense and questionable chin let him down, he dropped his hands and took the form of a punching bag.
  • Vargas has a granite chin, watch that if you don't believe me. Vargas took some huge shots against former world champion Juan Manuel Lopez and just kept coming ripping shots to the body and head. Lopez retired after three rounds as he simply couldn't hack the lightening quick pace set by Vargas. Lopez is a renowned puncher as well.
  • Miura appears to have decent power in his straight left but he doesn't set it up well. His lack of a jab means he throws his left wildly and is definitely susceptible to being countered. In his fight against Uchiyama (the king pin in the division) he was countered all night long and had to retire after eight rounds having been well and truly pasted.
  • Since the Uchiyama fight Miura hasn't fought anyone special, as I mentioned previously he beat Billy Dib, after that Sergio Thompson is probably his best win, I personally never rated Thompson and he didn't achieve, or beat anyone of note. Miura has fought in the comfort of his home nation Japan while beating fringe contenders. I think his true level was shown against Uchiyama where he was leagues off the pace. This is a mandatory defense which means Miura had no other option but to fight Vargas, so it's not as if he cherry picked this.
  • Style wise Miura can be very awkward, he's a southpaw and from the footage I have seen he appears to control the distance quite well, but again, he controlled the distance against poor opposition with dodgy chins. I expect Vargas to be willing to eat some shots to get on the inside and start pummeling hooks to the body.
  • Miura also has a style which is quite hard to win over the judges with. He doesn't have a good output, he relies on his power to win him fights. Vargas on the other hand has a great engine and will throw punches from start to finish. Vargas' punch volume will look even more impressive in comparison to the slow and lethargic looking Miura.
  • It will be interesting to see how Miura reacts if he can't hurt Vargas, does he have the technical boxing skills? Miura has been relying on his power for the majority of his career. Vargas is a former Olympian, has power and the punch volume to outwork Miura.
  • Tale of the tape wise, it favors Vargas. Vargas has two inches in height over Miura, they both have a 70 inch reach. Miura is also the more slender of the two and he can be bullied on the inside, he also has a tendency to use his head to get out of exchanges at close range, so he is liable to have points deducted.
  • This bout will be the co-feature of Cotto-Canelo, the crowd will be heavily favoring Vargas which certainly is no disadvantage. If the rounds are close expect the huge cheers from the partisan crowd to influence the scoring judges. For Miura, this is just his second bout outside of Japan, the other was an uninspiring victory against Sergio Thompson in Mexico.
  • I feel that Miura is going to need a few knock downs to win this fight or he will have to catch Vargas early. Vargas' rips to the body so well that it will inevitably take its toll on Miura.
  • Against a pressure fighter like Vargas you need a stiff jab and good legs. Miura has neither, he slaps with his jab and he plods forward. I also feel he lacks the technical skills to box on the back foot, which is where he will find himself for a large part of the bout.
  • 5Dimes, the American bookies, have Vargas as a 1.83 favorite which is near enough to what I'd price it up at, take the 2.3 if you can, I'd be surprised if Vargas goes off as the under dog come fight night