By Sean Crose
Here’s the truth: Mauricio Herrera beat rising star Danny Garcia last March in Puerto Rico. The judges gave Garcia the win, but Herrera won the fight. If you didn’t catch the bout, ask someone who did. If you did see it, well, you don’t need me to tell you that Herrera got robbed. You saw it with your own two eyes.
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
Unfortunately, there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Garcia is on his way to a possible match with Floyd Mayweather and Herrera has been relegated to the Canelo Alvarez-Erislandy Lara undercard July 12th at the MGM Grand in Vegas.
“I’m not totally over it,” the junior welterweight admitted during a Thursday conference call to promote his bout with Johan Perez. “It’s still frustrating.” Still, Herrera isn’t going to wallow in the wreckage of an unfair decision. “I have a strong mind, strong character,” he claimed.
What’s more, the guy is excited to get back to the business of boxing. “I am eager to get back in the ring,” Herrera told the members of the media which had gathered on the call. Did he feel, I asked him, that he needed a knockout against Perez in order to get the kinds of fights he richly deserves?
“We’ve been thinking about it a lot,” he answered me. “We’re looking for a stoppage.”
He may have his work cut out for him with Perez, a tall, skilled Venezuelan fighter with just a single loss on his resume. “I’m looking forward to giving a spectacular performance,” Perez declared. “I’m looking to be the best one hundred forty pounder in boxing.”
That’s a pretty tall order, when you look at the current state of the junior welterweight division. Still, at five feet eleven inches in height, Perez has a natural advantage over many opponents. I asked him how he intended to employ that height advantage against Herrera.
“I’m a fighter who works round for round,” he responded. “I can work all three distances.” Fair enough. The man ended up having more to say, however. “I will tell you this,” Perez continued, “I’m prepared to win and to take the victory home.”
Also on the conference call were Juan Manuel Lopez and Francisco Vargas, who will also be meeting on the July 12th undercard. These two super featherweights could actually provide quite a few fireworks before the main event goes down.
“I know how dangerous he (Lopez) is,” Vargas, who is 19-0, said. “I’m working for the distance.” That’s probably a smart strategy, since Lopez has thirty one knockouts to his name. Yet Lopez also has a spectacular loss on his record, one he suffered at the hands of none other than Mikey Garcia.
Lopez offered no weak excuses for that memorable defeat, but also seemed happy to talk about his comeback victory against the lion known as Daniel Ponce De Leon. “You’re only as good as your last fight,” Lopez declared. “It (the win over Ponce De Leon) gave me that extra push that I needed.”
Give Golden Boy this – they’ve created an interesting undercard for Canelo-Lara match. These are good, solid matchups that fans will be interested to see the outcomes of. With the understanding that any fight could descend into a snooze fest, it’s good to see Golden Boy at least trying to deliver bouts the fans find intriguing up and down a pay per view card.
“We are going to look to make it an exciting fight,” Herrera told me during the call. Hopefully all the participants appearing on July 12th would be willing to say the same thing.