By: William Holmes
The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s Showtime Pay Per View Card. Three separate bouts were televised before the main event.
Johan Perez (19-1-1) and Mauricio Herrera (20-4) opened up tonight’s card in an interim WBA Super Lightweight title bout.
Perez was both taller and younger than Herrera, but not nearly as battle tested and it showed in the first round. Herrera established his pace early and had Perez moving backwards in the first. Herrera connected with a hard overhand right in the middle of the round and was highly effective with his jab.
Perez took a clean counter right hook by Herrera early in the second round, but he was not backing up as much. Most of Perez’s jabs were bouncing off the guard, but he was able to dig some good hooks into the body of Herrera. Herrera landed a good two punch combo upstairs near the end of the second.
Perez opened up the third with hard jabs and was more willing to stay within the range of Herrera’s punches. Herrera pressed forward and was connecting to the body and forced Perez to fight off the ropes.
Perez had a very good showing at the start of the fourth round and Herrera was ineffective when he got on the inside. Perez was landing his two punch combos until a stiff jab from Herrera stopped Perez in his tracks. Herrera followed it with another combination that ended with a straight right to Perez’s jaw. Herrera did much better when in the mid-range during this round.
Perez was very active in the fifth and sixth rounds, but Herrera was landing the cleaner shots and Perez backing up. Both were starting to take more risks, with each backing the other to the ropes.
Herrera landed a hard right hand to the jaw of Perez in the first minute of the seventh round, but Perez was able to press Herrera back to the ropes and connect with combinations of his own. More good action in this round and the fights could have been scored either way.
Herrera hurt Perez in the eighth round and shot his combination to the body and head of his opponents. Perez only focused on the body and was getting rocked by Herrera. Herrera and Perez continued to exchange in the ninth round and they fought in a close range.
Herrera had a good showing at the start of the tenth round, but Perez finally went to the body and had Herrera backed up to the ropes. The action was intense in the eleventh round, but Perez appeared to be winning when he switched to a southpaw stance and landed hooks to the body and head of Herrera.
Both fighters showed the results of their battle on their faces by the last round and the action was still intense. Herrera was landing the cleaner and harder cominbation in the twelfth, but Perez did have some success when he switched back into a southpaw stance.
The final scores were 114-114, 116-112, and 116-112 for Mauricio Herrera.
The next bout of the night was between Juan Manuel Lopez (34-3) and Francisco Vargas 19-0-1) in the junior lightweight division. Vargas was the much bigger man in the ring and he used it to his advantage by pressing the pace in the first round. Vargas was landing the harder shots during their exchanges in the first, and that patter would continue in the second.
Vargas was crisp with his jabs in the second, and had Lopez shaky from a hard two punch combination to the head. Lopez looked like he was close to going down, but stayed on his feet. Vargas punctured the dominating round with hard three punch combo to the body of Lopez
Lopez appeared to have been recovered by the start of the third round and both boxers went all out from the start of the third to the end. Lopez has his back against the ropes early on and both were landing hard combinations, but Lopez was taking the harder punches. Lopez started to fade in the middle of the third and was backed into a corner from the blistering attack of Vargas. Lopez, though wobbled, was fighting back and somehow stayed on his feet after a vicious right uppercut. Vargas followed it with a left hook which snapped the head of Lopez and sent him to the mat. Lopez was able to get back to his feet but was the victim of another assault from Vargas as the round came to an end.
The corner wisely decided to stop the fight before the start of the fourth round. Francisco Vargas wins by TKO at the end of round three.
The final bout on the undercard was between Abner Mares (26-1-1) and Jonathan Oquendo (24-3) in the featherweight division.
Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and had similar builds. There was a lot of tying up in the first round, but Oquendo was able to land a right hook left hook combination while Mares landed a right hook of his own. The crowd was very festive in the first, and Mares was landing the better shots.
Oquendo opened the second round on the attack and opened up with a lead left hook. Mares was landing short right hooks, but the action was dull in the second.
Mares was bouncing on the outside in the second round with a lot more tying up from both boxers. Mares showed he had the better hand speed in the third and was able to box well from the outside and kept it where he wanted to.
The action picked up in the fourth round and Oquendo was doing good damage to the body of Mares. Mares also attacked the body of Oquendo, but they didn’t appear to land as clean as Oquendo’s shots. Oquendo also landed a good right uppercut in the fourth and opened up a bad cut on the left eyelid of Mares. The ringside doctor was called in to check it out and let the fight continue. Oquendo chased mares and connect with a lead lunging left hook and Oquendo was looking strong as the round came to an end.
Mares came out light on his feet in the fifth round and the cut on his eyelid was patched up well by his corner. Oquendo had a good fifth round which was highlighted by a left hook to the head of Mares, but Mare was landing cleaner combinations.
Mares and Oquendo opened up more in the sixth round and there was good action to start the round, but it was Mares who was landing the cleaner shots. Oquendo was taking the shots of Mares well, but was being outlanded.
Oquendo was backing up to the ropes more in the seventh round more often and the fight was being fought in tight. Mares was still landing the cleaner shots and Oquendo’s right eye was starting to swell up. Mares had a very strong in the seventh round.
Mares boxed smart in the final three rounds and was content on out boxing Oquendo from the outside. Oquendo was not aggressive enough to win and Mares was able to stay out of harm’s way.
Abner Mares wins by decision with scores of 96-94, 98-92, and 98-92.