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The first time Miguel Berchelt faced Francisco Vargas in 2017, the two elite junior lightweights put on an excellent performance before Berchelt simply overpowered his opponent. Now, Vargas wants redemption.
The Berchelt vs. Vargas 130-pound rematch, which you can live stream for free on ESPN, could tell us two things: whether Vargas, at the relatively advanced age of 34, has already been in too many damaging fights, and whether Berchelt is potentially good enough to take on Vasiliy Lomachenko in the future.
Either way, if the first fight was any indication, the rematch should be filled with power punches and perhaps multiple bloody faces. Here’s everything you need to know to watch the Berchelt vs. Vargas title fight on Saturday.
Miguel Berchelt vs. Francisco Vargas
- When: Saturday, May 11 at 10pm ET
- Where: Tucson Arena in Tucson, Arizona
- Streaming: ESPN (free trials with various streaming services)
How to watch Berchelt vs. Vargas for free
Berchelt vs. Vargas is the main event of the ESPN (and ESPN Deportes) card. That broadcast begins at 10pm ET with the co-feature of Emanuel Navarrete vs. Isaac Dogboe fighting for a junior featherweight title opening the show. The undercard will be streamed on the ESPN+ streaming service beginning at 6:30pm ET (the entire card is listed below). Most of the major live streaming services offer ESPN, and all of the ones featured below include a free one-week trial.
1) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (40% off first month)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
The cheapest way to watch ESPN online (and keep viewing fights like Berchelt vs. Vargas) is through Sling TV. The Sling Orange package is only $25 per month and it includes ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3, along with a bunch of other great channels. If you really love sports, you might want to upgrade to Sling Orange + Blue (see above), for $40 per month. Sling TV is also currently offering a deal where you can subscribe for 40% off the regular price for the first three months of your subscription. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.)
- Cost: $5.99-$11.99 for Hulu and $44.95 per month for Hulu with Live TV (after a 7-day free trial)
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Hulu local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
This service is great for those who want to stream live TV on a platform with nearly 60 channels and watch its massive on-demand library of movies, TV shows, and original series. Thanks to that versatility, Hulu with Live TV is a nice option. It’s also the best way to bundle your streaming services into one place. (Here’s the complete list of Hulu Live TV channels.)
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- PlayStation Vue local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
If you want to watch live TV directly from your PS4, this is the best option for you. PlayStation Vue allows you to choose from four tiers of channels, but for Berchelt vs. Vargas, you can use the service’s basic package—which also includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, FX, Cartoon Network, and a lot more. PlayStation works with streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire products, but it also gets high marks for its compatibility with Kodi. You can see the full list of PlayStation Vue channels here. You can stream on up to five devices at once, and there’s also unlimited cloud DVR.
4) YouTube TV
- Cost: $49.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- YouTube TV devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices
YouTube TV lets you add up to six accounts for every subscription, all of which come with free cloud DVR, and it puts all of your favorite channels in one place. It’s fantastic for convenience. Plus, if you’re a sports fan, specialty options like NBA TV and MLB Network are certainly worth considering.
- Cost: $4.99 per month (after 7-day free trial)
- Devices: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablet, Android TV, Chromecast, Oculus Go, PS4, Roku players and Ts, Samsung smart TVs, and iOS and Android devices
To watch the entire undercard on Saturday, you’ll need to subscribe to ESPN+. The channel’s subscription service costs $4.99 per month (after a seven-day free trial), and it functions as an extension of ESPN’s main app and website, unlocking all sorts of exclusive live sports and original series. That includes plenty of UFC action and the entire 30 for 30 series. The undercard bouts start on ESPN+ at 6:30pm ET. However, the two main-event bouts will not be on ESPN+ and will exclusively be shown on the network.
Miguel Berchelt vs. Francisco Vargas odds
The oddsmakers aren’t giving him much of a chance. Vargas is a +850 underdog, meaning you’d win $850 by wagering $100 on him. Berchelt (35-1, 31 KOs), meanwhile, is a -1800 favorite, meaning you’d have to bet $1,800 on him to earn a $100 payday.
Berchelt vs. Vargas: Why it matters
When Vargas faced off vs. Berchelt 28 months ago, he was coming off back-to-back Fight of the Year awards in 2015 and 2016, and he was already well-known for engaging in fights that can wear on a boxer’s mind, body, and soul. He simply didn’t have enough to fend off the younger Berchelt, who’d had less punishing battles in the ring. This is how Vargas was stopped.
Though Vargas has since won back-to-back fights against solid-but-not-elite-level competition, there is a real question whether his thrilling fights versus Takashi Miuri in 2015 (a ninth-round knockout win) and versus Orlando Salido in 2016 (ruled a draw) were so brutal that it will negatively affect the rest of his career.
It seems that Vargas (25-1-2, 18 knockouts) doesn’t see it that way.
“I’ve been patient,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for this fight for two years and now it’s finally here. It’s going to be a war. I did a few different things in preparation for this fight. I worked on different strategies, but we’ll see how the fight goes. You know, when two Mexicans get into the ring, they leave everything behind. My goal is to reclaim the world title.”
Since stopping Vargas, Berchelt has continued to impress, beating Miura by a wide unanimous decision (and sending him into retirement), stopping Jonathan Victor Barros, and knocking out Miguel Roman. All of them are really good fighters, and Berchelt blasted through each of them. He’s also talked about wanting to face Lomachenko, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Still, he thinks Vargas might have something left.
“Francisco Vargas is a great Mexican warrior, just like I am,” he said. “I am training at my best to prove once again that I am not only better than him but that I am the best 130-pounder in the world.”
Miguel Berchelt vs. Francisco Vargas live stream schedule
Main card | 10pm ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes
- Miguel Berchelt vs. Francisco Vargas
- Emanuel Navarrete vs. Isaac Dogboe
Undercard | 6:30pm ET on ESPN+
- Fazliddin Gaibnazarov vs. Mykal Fox
- Carlos Castro vs. Mauro Diaz
- Miguel Marriaga vs. Ruben Cervera
- Miguel Parra vs. David Morales
- Manny Guajardo vs. Jonathan Espino
- Carlos Velasquez vs. Demetrius Mora
For a year-round sports fix, sign up here to receive our weekly boxing newsletter. You’ll hear about all the biggest fights and best knockouts from the Daily Dot’s streaming sports guru Josh Katzowitz.
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Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.