Next Saturday, October 27 HBO’s Boxing After Dark will feature a tripleheader from the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York. The fights are WBC #1 welterweight Thomas Dulorme (16-0, 12 KOs) against Luis Carlos Abregu (33-1, 27 KOs), IBF lightweight champion Miguel “Titere” Vazquez (31-3-0, 13 KOs) against challenger Marvin Quintero (25-3-0, 21 KOs) and the opening televised portion of the card features WBO NABO Junior welterweight champion Karim Mayfield (16-0-1, 10 KOs) defending his title against challenger Mauricio Herrera (18-2-0, 7 KOs). We caught up with Junior Welterweight Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera to get his thoughts on his upcoming battle against Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield.
Q: How is training camp going?
A: Training camp has been going really well. I’m more relaxed now then I was when I was training to fight Mike Alvarado. When I was training to fight against Alvarado I knew it was a big fight and I felt a lot of pressure.
Q: Do you feel the any pressure because it’s on HBO?
A: Fighting on HBO is different from fighting my usual fights because when you are at a larger venue, hearing the fight fans and seeing the cameras – You become aware that this is being televised to the world. I am glad that I had the chance to experience what it feels like to participate in a major televised event (referring to his last match up against Mike Alvarado) because I feel that I can handle it better now knowing what to expect.
Q: Where do you reside and where do you train?
A: I live and train in Riverside, CA. A long time ago there was a miscommunication that I lived in Lake Elsinore. I have always lived in Riverside.
I switch gyms constantly to keep it fresh but I always have stayed around home. For this camp, I have trained out of a gym called Orlando in Riverside and sometimes I train out of Lincoln Gym which is also located in Riverside.
Q: How has your loss against Mike Alvarado changed your training regimen?
A: After the loss to Alvarado, which to me was a close, hard battle, I reviewed the fight nearly 100 times so that I can know where I need to make changes. I train to improve my skills and also by changing bad habits that I have like dropping my hands. I also try and move my head a little more. I believe that reviewing the tapes has helped because I am fixing the mistakes little by little.
Q: Have you seen Karim Mayfield fight before?
A: Yes. I have seen his last two fights. His last two opponents weren’t anything like me. His last two opponents did not pose too much of a threat. I consider myself smart inside the ring and I won’t stop fighting, those 2 guys he just fought were not like me.
Q: Karim says that you throw a lot of punches and that you are very active in the ring. Because of this Karim says that he has been training to negate your activity. What do you have to say about that?
A: Karim’s right about that… I do throw a lot of punches and I am very active in the ring. What he doesn’t know is that I also have a lot of defense tactics
that I don’t get credit for.
I can make a lot of guys miss the punches that they throw which tires them out. Mayfield is going to have to run and hold and that will wear him down. This is going to be a tough fight. I am not easy to hit and I throw a lot of punches This is going to be the toughest fight of his career.
Q: What have you been doing to prepare for Karim Mayfield?
A: I have been doing my routine training that I usually do for a fight. The only difference is that in this camp I have also been focusing on fixing my mistakes and bad habits.
Q: Mayfield says that he is looking to capitalize on your last loss against Alvarado. What are your thoughts?
A: It’s a waste of time for him to do that. He should know that it was a close fight and a tough loss and he’s making a big mistake in thinking that I may be mentally off my game. He’s going to find out real quick when he gets in the ring with me. I think I will hurt him in the middle rounds. He made a mistake in fighting me. I feel that he is underestimating me and overlooking me. He doesn’t understand that damage that I can do to him.
Q: Why do you think he is overlooking you?
A: I think he’s excited that he is on HBO but he needs to understand that he’s not there yet and I’m not there yet. We both are still paying our dues and before any of us feel that way we have to earn that spot.
Q: What happened in your fight against Alvarado?
A: The feeling is different when you are in a bigger venue and experience the energy of a big crowd. You tend to listen to their reaction more. I stood there trading with Alvarado way longer than I needed to. I feel that I am going to take from my last experience and have it help me in this fight. In this battle I am going to fight with more intelligence, more boxing – less brawling.
Q: Do you have a closing comment?
A: Hopefully Karim Mayfield will be 100% ready. I know I will be. I’m ready to give a good show. This is my time. I have fought many prospects and beat them. I am looking to fight anyone at the top with a belt and hopefully they give me that chance.
The Herrera-Mayfield 10-round bout is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions in association with Thompson Boxing Promotions.
Doors open at the Turning Stone Resort Casino Event Center at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, October 27. The first undercard bout starts at 7:30 p.m. The live HBO Boxing After Dark telecast begins at 10:15 p.m.
Tickets range from $25 to $75 and are available at the Turning Stone box office or www.Ticketmaster.com. Active military members and current college students with valid ID are eligible for discounted $15 tickets. Call the Turning Stone box office at (315) 361-7469.