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Mark F. Villanueva




 
List of Articles by Mark F. Villanueva



Boxing Insight: Francisco Vargas Versus Takashi Miura

By Mark F. Villanueva
PhilBoxing.com
23 Nov 2015



Takashi Miura was on his way down in the first round of his fifth title defense. Francisco Vargas, a lanky Mexican challenger, confident, and undefeated in 21 fights, got him hard off an exchange with a looping right hand that landed directly on the champion’s pan. He got tagged so hard, and so perfectly unaware that Miura must have thought he had already crashed on the canvas, until his legs instinctively bailed him out at the last second.

It took Takashi Miura more than nine years to win a world title. He had successfully defended it four times in a span of two years, and now time had become painfully slow. The remainder of the first round found Miura barely standing up, surviving every minute, every second, and staving off the onslaught of an eager challenger. Time had become cramped, warped inside the champion’s mind. Nine years of championship toil, broken down into boxing rounds, and his fight with Vargas coincidentally equated into nine atavistic rounds.

Francisco Vargas failed to close the bout when the opportunity first presented itself, but took advantage of Miura’s lack of defense moving forward. He hit the reigning champion with as many right hand punches, at times, twice or thrice in a single attack. On the other hand, Takashi Miura had appraised himself from barely keeping up to digging down the taller fighter’s body. He allowed himself to be hit to give something back.

Frayed, seemingly unable to fend off Miura’s increasing aggression, the challenger’s punches gradually slowed down. Miura’s body punches started to pay off. In a dramatic turn of events, Takashi Miura, known as the “Bomber Left” for his vaunted left hand, struck his opponent’s head that instantly planted him on the floor. His punches were now becoming more powerful each time. I don’t have a detailed account of Takashi Miura’s rigorous preparation, but only the toughest and most disciplined training should suffice for such a performance. I would say he must have trained as hard as he could until luck is purged out from his formula to success. He had trained so he was ready for various contingencies and left nothing to chance. He rocked Francisco Vargas one more time in the eighth round.

Vargas led off the ninth round knowing the champion would look to finish him off. He had been groggy by the end of the eighth and may have used this in his advantage to stage a final surprise. After all, it was an ideal time for the Japanese champion to end his championship run. As expected, Takashi Miura pressed the action with renewed confidence, knowing this may be his best fight to date, and it certainly was until Francisco Vargas, with his back against the wall, took a last stand.

Takashi Miura went down, lost in the suddenness of Vargas’ combinations. He hit him the hardest with a straight, but he had trained for these scenarios and stood back up, staggering badly across the ring. His legs gave way, but he was up, albeit barely, to endure one final comeback. In his head he must have relived how he had trained for this a thousand times that he lost standing.


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