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WBC champion Francisco Vargas returns to the ring Jan. 28 in Indio

Francisco Vargas, right, lands a right against Orlando Salido on June 4, 2016.
(Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

Mexico’s super-featherweight world champion Francisco Vargas will open the new year with a Jan. 28 bout at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio.

Vargas (23-0-2, 17 knockouts), the World Boxing Council champion, will meet countryman Miguel Berchelt (30-1, 27 KOs), the World Boxing Organization’s interim champion, in the main event of the HBO Boxing After Dark card.

The co-main event will feature Japan’s Takashi Miura, who lost his belt to Vargas in a stirring November 2015 meeting in Las Vegas.

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Miura (30-3-2, 23 KOs) will meet Mexico’s Mickey Roman (56-11, 43 KOs).

Tickets, priced $35 to $105, go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com and at the resort’s box office.

Vargas, who fought to a draw in a riveting bout against Mexico’s Orlando Salido on June 4 at StubHub Center, took a break to let cuts over his eyes heal. Because of his entertaining style, he’s a sought-after opponent.

The positioning of Vargas and Miura on the same card is intended to build anticipation for their rematch. WBO champion Vasyl Lomachenko is also a potential Vargas foe..

“Boxing fans know what to expect every time I step in to the ring — and that is a war,” Vargas said in a news release issued by Golden Boy Promotions on Friday. “I am aware of my opponent’s knockout power, but he’s never faced a true world champion, and I am confident I will come out on top.”

Berchelt said his knockout prowess should not be dismissed.

“I’m going to shock the boxing world,” he said in the statement. “This is the opportunity I have been looking forward to.”

Miura, who was scheduled to fight Salido Dec. 17 in the main event at the Forum before Salido withdrew with an injury, said he is eager to prove he can withstand the pressure of a resilient puncher in Roman.

“I was very disappointed when I lost to Vargas, but I have rededicated myself and am excited to begin my journey towards winning back my title,” Miura said.


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