By Chris Cella
As part of an exciting triple header hosted by HBO’s Boxing After Dark, Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera will enter the ring this Saturday night (18-2, 7 KO) against current WBO NABO junior welterweight champion Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield (16-0-1, 10 KO) at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York.
Suffering a loss against the hard hitting junior welterweight prospect Mike Alvarado in his last trip to the ring earlier this year, Herrera is anxious to step between the ropes and get back to his winning ways.
“After the loss to Alvarado, which to me was a close, hard battle, I reviewed the fight nearly 100 times so that I can know where I need to make changes, said Herrera.
“I train to improve my skills and also by changing bad habits that I have like dropping my hands. I also try and move my head a little more. I believe that reviewing the tapes has helped me because I am fixing the mistakes little by little.”
This Saturday’s title fight is Herrera’s first time fighting on the east coast, and fighting on HBO will give him the chance to show fight fans around the world what he has. At the age of 32, time is of the essence, and Saturday night he knows he has to make a statement against his undefeated adversary to stay afloat in one of the most stacked divisions in boxing.
Not known for his power, one of Herrera’s main keys to victories is his ability to stay busy in the ring and to keep his hands moving. Expect him to keep the pressure on Mayfield the full three-minutes of each round. Mayfield stated that his plan of action Saturday night is to negate Herrera’s activity, and will look to dictate the pace of the action.
In response, Herrera commented, “I do throw a lot of punches and I am very active in the ring. What he (Mayfield) doesn’t know is that I have a lot of defense tactics that I don’t get credit for. I can make a lot of guys miss the punches that they throw which tires them out. Mayfield is going to have to run and hold and that will wear him down. This is going to be a tough fight. I am not easy to hit and I throw a lot of punches. This is going to be the toughest fight of his career.”
Saturday night will be a defining moment in Herrera’s career when he comes into this title fight the challenger. The cards are laid out for him; he knows what he has to do to keep his vision of one day raising a world championship belt intact. Karim Mayfield is the obstacle that is standing in the way of having his dream come into fruition.
“Hopefully Karim Mayfield will be 100% ready,” said Herrera. “I know I will be. I’m ready to give a good show. This is my time. I have fought many prospects and beat them. I am looking to fight anyone at the top with a belt and hopefully they give me that chance.”
The live HBO Boxing After Dark telecast begins at 10:15 p.m.