SAN DIEGO, July 10, 2015 – In March 2014, Mauricio Herrera spoiled a would-be “homecoming” by junior welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia by outboxing him in Puerto Rico. Nevertheless, Garcia got the champion’s benefit of the doubt and won on the scorecards.
Fast-forward to December 2014. Herrera clearly prevailed in a bout against prospect Jose Benavidez Jr. But Benavidez won a unanimous decision from judges. Herrera worked hard and he didn’t hide when he could have, providing tremendous action in the final round.
Once again it seems Herrera got robbed, and he told HBO’s Max Kellerman so after the fight. “Nothing new happens all the time, I win a fight and they take it away from me,” said a disappointed Herrera.
Herrera has a chance to change his fortunes and he’s determined not to let it happen again Saturday night at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Herrera (21-5, 7 KOs) from Riverside, California faces “Hammerin” Hand Lundy (25-4-1, 12 KOs) of Philadelphia. Lundy has gotten short shrift from the judges at times, but more often he beats himself with business conflicts outside the ring, lax training, weak defense, and the inability to focus. He has missed weight, the cardinal sin of boxing in this writer’s opinion. Lundy has the tools, but hasn’t figured out how to apply them.
Lundy said after the weigh-in, “War ready, I’m leaving everything in the ring tomorrow. This belt coming to Philly; it’s Hammer Time.” Lundy took a break from training last week to get married, not the typical lead up to a fight.
Herrera’s challenge is figuring how to show the judges what they want to see short of scoring a knockdown or knockout. Herrera doesn’t have that kind of firepower. His assets are volume, pressure, and accuracy. When Herrera chooses to get in a firefight as he did with another banger, Ruslan Provodnikov, earlier in their careers in January 2011, it’s so entertaining you almost feel guilty watching.
It would be understandable if Herrera was bitter or had a serious chip on his shoulder. But he seems to have absorbed the blows and moved forward. “I’m still hungry, I don’t let those disappointing losses get to me. I’ve still got a lot to prove,” Herrera said. His relative maturity helps here; Herrera is 35 years old, but he didn’t start boxing until the ancient age of 27.
Herrera promised he wouldn’t make it an easy fight, he would “tear Lundy to pieces.” Herrera says it’s a perfect fight for the fans and he would work hard to get a stoppage.
There’s no doubt the fight will be entertaining, but it won’t mean much if the outcome is unjust. Veteran boxing journalist Al Bernstein summed it up for all of us when he wrote on Twitter, “Whoever wins, hope the judges get it right.”
This fight will be aired on HBO Latino live at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT. Look at it as an excellent opportunity to practice your Spanish. Don’t cheat with the closed captions.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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