By: William Holmes
ESPN presented a special Thursday night edition of Friday Night Fights on Thursday night from Corona, California as Mauricio Herrera faced the always entertaining Ji-Hoon Kim in a junior welterweight main event.
After showing an hour of some of Mike Tyson’s greatest hits, ESPN went right into the action with a lightweight bout between Miguel Acosta (29-6-2) and Miguel Gonzalez (20-3) in the lightweight division. This card was being held outdoors and unfortunately the attendance appeared sparse.
Gonzalez was a southpaw and he appeared to be a little bit quicker and crisper than Acosta in the early rounds. He controlled the first round and was able to connect with his straight left hand. Acosta however came back in the second round and scored a knockdown with a counter right hand. Gonzalez was able to bounce right back to his feet and he did not appear hurt.
Gonzalez came back strong in the third round and continued to press the pace despite Acosta throwing wild punches and occasionally landing. Gonzalez hurt Acosta near the end of the fourth round and knocked Acosta down in the fifth round with another straight left hand.
After the fifth round knockdown Gonzalez really began to take over and pounded Acosta from corner to corner. By the end of the fight Acosta’s left eye was nearly swollen shut. Gonzalez defeated the former champ with scores of 97-91, 96-92, and 95-93 on the scorecards.
The main event was between Mauricio Herrera (18-3) and Ji-Hoon Kim (24-8) in the junior welterweight division. Kim has jumped a weight class to take on Herrera, who holds a victory over Ruslan Provodnikov and Mike Dallas Jr.
Herrera must have heard of Kim’s reputation for nonstop action and little regard for defense because he immediately grabbed onto Ji-Hoon Kim’s arms early on in the first round and focused on the body of Kim. He was easily able to slip a large majority of Kim’s punches and counter with crisp right hands of his own.
This was a typical Ji-Hoon Kim fight. Kim fought sloppily, but never stopped throwing punches and never stopped coming forward. He was countered consistently and constantly, but somehow he was able to stay on his feet and not fall to the ground.
Kim mocked Herrera in the third round and begged him to come forward, but Herrera had no need to come forward as he was winning nearly every round. By the last two rounds it was obvious that Kim’s pressure was starting to tire Herrera, but he was never in serious trouble and did not suffer any serious damage.
With eight losses and no signs of improving defense, Kim’s days of fighting on television may soon be over. Herrera won the decision victory with scores of 99-91, 99-91, and 98-92.