Herrera plans on taking Lundy to school
Riverside, California’s Mauricio ”El Maestro” Herrera, 21-5 (7), has proven his worth, taking then-undefeated Ruslan Provodnikov’s “0” in 2011, going on to wage an all-out war against then red-hot Mike Alvarado and, against all odds, beating Danny Garcia in Puerto Rico for the WBA and WBC junior welterweight belts in Feb. of 2013.
Instead of coming home with the belts, the three blind mice judging the fight saw things otherwise, while the vast majority of the boxing community begged to differ. Undeterred, Herrera made the most of his second crack at a world title by winning the interim version of the WBA belt against Johan Perez almost 16 months after fighting Garcia.
In yet another heartbreaker, Herrera would lose the strap in his first defense against Jose Benavidez five months later in another fight most observers thought he had won.
One might believe his stock might have gone down; instead, Herrera, promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, will challenge a very game ”Hammerin”’ Hank Lundy, 25-4-1 (12), in a 10-round junior welterweight main event for the vacant NABF strap on HBO Latino, Saturday night. This will most likely be the last boxing card ever staged at the fabled LA Sports Arena.
Herrera tries his best to stay positive, reflecting on the ups and downs leading to this fight, saying, “It is what it is. I can’t do anything other than keep fighting. I know I won but I can’t change the decisions.” Seeing that those fights are somehow being seen as close and going his opponents’ ways, is there anything that the Lake Elsinore-born fighter can do about it? Perhaps due to his lack of punching power, the fights don’t always go his way. Even though his boxing acumen is deep, is there anything else he can do to sway the judges in close fights?
“Not really. I mean, in my last fight, I was active and working to put some power shots in but I still didn’t get the win. That’s just the way it is but I use it to drive me. I’m frustrated and hungry,” Herrera said.
“The Mexican James Toney” (in reference to his counter-punching mastery) referred to his mental outlook going into fights, “It’s all about smart fighting and patience is really important with that. I think it works because of my technique and patience, always looking for openings and being smart in how to exploit weaknesses. We had a long camp, so I don’t feel pressured that much. I feel prepared and confident and, as I said, I’m hungry, given the decisions I’ve gotten in the past.”
In Hank Lundy, Herrera will face a plucky, hard-nosed fighter who doesn’t mince words, having stated his dislike for Herrera, even claiming he is the better fighter.
Despite Lundy’s statements, Herrera is unfazed, giving his thoughts about his boxing skills instead of his verbal ones.
“Yeah, I mean he’s a good fighter but I know what I’m capable of. It’s all about who is the hungrier fighter. I know I’m hungrier and I’ll prove it. It is important to not get frustrated, to stay calm and patient and look for openings. As I said, I’ve had a long camp and I’m well-prepared to deal with [Lundy]. To all the fans, come July 11th, school is in session!”
The televised co-main event features Michael “The Artist” Perez of Newark, New Jersey taking on Sharif “The Lion” Bogere in a 10-round lightweight fight for the vacant NABO lightweight title. 2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. will open up the HBO Latino telecast in a 10-round featherweight bout against former WBC Silver featherweight champion Rene “Gemelo” Alvarado of Managua, Nicaragua.
Tickets are priced at $10, $25, $50 and $100, plus applicable taxes and service charges, and are available for purchase at www.lacoliseum.com, www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations and by calling 800-745-3000.