Miguel Berchelt hand injury forces postponement of March 23 rematch vs. Francisco Vargas

Junior lightweight world titlist Miguel Berchelt suffered a right hand injury in recent days, forcing him to postpone his rematch with former titlist Francisco Vargas.

The Mexican countrymen had been scheduled to fight on March 23 at The Forum in Inglewood, California, in the main event of a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card.

Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti told ESPN on Wednesday that Zanfer Promotions, which co-promotes Berchelt with Top Rank, informed the company of Berchelt's injury over the weekend.

"We're going to try to reschedule the fight as soon as possible, as soon as Berchelt can go. Hopefully, we can do it in May," Moretti said.

In January 2017, Berchelt (35-1, 31 KOs), 27, stopped Vargas (25-1-2, 18 KOs), 34, on cuts in the 11th round of a brutal fight to claim the 130-pound belt and has gone on to make four successful defenses. Their meeting produced tremendous action, as Berchelt and Vargas combined to land 760 of 1,979 punches, according to CompuBox punch statistics.

An eventual rematch was a natural fight, and Top Rank and Golden Boy, which promotes Vargas, were able to work out a deal.

Moretti said that Top Rank still intends for the March 23 card to go forward with another main event to be determined and hopes to keep the show at The Forum.

There had been a possibility of featherweight world titlist Oscar Valdez making his sixth defense in the co-feature, following his triumphant return to the ring on Saturday night at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday night.

Valdez (25-0, 20 KOs), 28, of Mexico, knocked out Italy's Carmine Tommasone (19-1, 5 KOs) in the seventh round. The fight was Valdez's first since he suffered a badly broken jaw in his previous defense last March, a hellacious unanimous decision against former junior featherweight world titlist Scott Quigg that kept Valdez out of action for 11 months.

After Saturday's victory, Top Rank said it would leave it up to Valdez's team, which includes manager Frank Espinoza, trainer Eddy Reynoso and Oscar Valdez Sr. (the fighter's father), to determine whether he should fight again so quickly. Moretti said they informed Top Rank this week that they preferred to have Valdez return a bit later in the year.