By Miguel Maravilla
Photo: Thompson Boxing
Mauricio Herrera, 141.9 vs. Miguel Angel Huerta, 140.8
Giovanni Santillan, 142.8 vs. Angel Martinez, 140.2
Jonathan Garcia vs. Christopher Garcia (weigh-in at a later time)
Anthony Arellano, 137.8 vs. Joaquin Chavez, 138
Jorge Ruiz, 122.7 vs. Francisco Jose Camacho, 123
Neeco Macias, 148.2 vs. Francisco Ramirez, 147.2
Cesar Villarraga, 132 vs. Sopaun Rin, 130.3
Venue: Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA
Promoter: Thompson Boxing
Junior welterweight contender Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (19-3, 7 KOs) of Lake Elsinore, California returns against hard hitting Mexican Miguel Angel Huerta (27-10-1, 18 KOs) headlining Thompson Boxing’s Path to Glory card tonight. “Everything is good training was good, fun, we always train hard I am ready to get in there and fight,” Herrera told Fightnews.com.
Herrera for this fight trained in his hometown of Riverside and also sparred with Argentinian slugger former WBC junior welterweight interim champion Lucas Matthysse in Indio, California leading up to his fight with Danny Garcia.
“We sparred out in Indio with him, my brother and I. We gave him tough sparring. I handled myself good with him,” Herrera said.
The 33 year old Herrera is coming off a unanimous decision win against always tough former world title contender South Korean Ji-Hoon Kim in May. Now he will once again take on a tough veteran in Huerta, a southpaw who has faced current WBO junior welterweight interim champion Mike Alvarado, former world champions Javier Jauregi, and Julio Diaz.
Herrera knows the threat Huerta represents as “El Maestro” has done his homework on his counterpart. “He is a pretty tough, hard puncher, an experienced fighter. We are training for a tough fight.”
Having picked up boxing at a later age, Herrera turned pro at the age of 27, winning his first 13 fights and suffered his first defeat to former world champion “Mighty” Mike Anchondo. Bouncing back from his loss, Herrera continued on winning his next five fights including wins over former world title challenger Ruslan Provodnikov, pulling out a close decision in what was a battle, and then won a unanimous decision over Mike Dallas Jr.
“My first loss I thought I was robbed the crowd booed and commentators had me winning,” Herrera said.
After witnessing Ruslan Provodnikov’s war with former stable mate Timothy Bradley, Herrera could only watch and enjoy the action as fans found out that night what Provodnikov is about, for Herrera it’s a fighter he had beaten being part of a potential fight of the year candidate. Setting the stage for a showdown between Provodnikov and Mike Alvarado, another fighter that Herrera has been in the ring with. Alvarado and Herrera met last year as the two went at each other for ten rounds, Alvarado ended up with a unanimous decision victory but Herrera gave “Mile High” all he can handle.
“The Provodnikov fight was a tough fight for me. He hits hard there was no way I was standing in front of him. I boxed but at times I mixed it up,” Herrera said about his win against Provodnikov. “With Alvarado I went in aggressive because we knew he was strong. If he was as tough like the Russian I would have boxed more. I think that fight between the two is one I keep going back and forth on since I have been in the ring with both but I would say Provodnikov by late stoppage, hopefully I get a shot at the winner,” Herrera added.
Herrera returned six months later taking on undefeated junior welterweight prospect Karim Mayfield as he lost a unanimous decision in going the distance. After a pair of back to back loses Herrera bounced back with his win over the tough South Korean Kim this past May as he will be ready to climb back in the square circle.
“Mayfield was a solid opponent. The Karim Mayfield fight was a good fight, it was close but again I thought I did enough to win,” Herrera said. “The Kim fight that was a good comeback fight for me. He was tough and it was a fun fight. I did a little of everything.”
Not bad at all for a guy who took the sport up late despite lacking the amateur pedigree. One thing is certain, Herrera has paid his dues as he always represents a challenge. Now the focus is on the experienced Mexican fighter, a win over Huerta on Friday night and look for Herrera to pursue a big fight early next year against the top fighters in the 140 pound division.
“I will be fighting my best, giving the people a good fight here in my backyard. I am always in a tough fight and I am ready to put on a good performance. I am getting ready to get back in the picture,” Herrera concluded.
Follow me on Twitter @MigMaravilla