Q&A: Mauricio Herrera rates Danny Garcia, Ruslan Provodnikov, others


Mauricio Herrera lost by disputed majority decision to RING 140-pound champ Danny Garcia on Saturday, has out-pointed WBO titleholder Ruslan Provodnikov, and suffered narrow decision setbacks to Karim Mayfield and Mike Alvarado.

Provodnikov won the WBO belt by stopping Alvarado in 10 rounds last year.

Herrera, who turns 34 in May, would like a rematch with either Garcia or Provodnikov, if not a bout with hard-hitting Lucas Matthysse, whom Garcia out-pointed in his previous bout last September.

During a Q&A with on Tuesday, Herrera (20-4, 7 knockouts) lamented the loss to Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs), who won, 116-112 on the cards of judges Carlos Colon and Alejandro Rochin, while the third judge, Gustavo Padilla, scored it 114-114.

Herrera praised Showtime commentators Al Bernstein (116-113), Paulie Malignaggi (116-113), and Steve Farhood (116-112), all of whom scored the bout in his favor.

Below is the Q&A with Herrera: How would you rank yourself and the other top four fighters you've faced?

Mauricio Herrera: Well, Karim was a whole different style of fighting. Not too much boxing in that fight, but a lot of holding. I don't think that it was a crowd-pleasing fight, but he's also tough and he's game. I think that he would give Danny Garcia a helluva fight, as well.

But I think that I won the Karim Mayfield fight. I felt the same with Alvarado. I thought that I had a close fight with Danny, and I thought I beat Alvarado, and where he's at now? I beat Provodnikov. Those were all tough fights.

I was prepared for some of them, and some of them I wasn't as well as I should have been. So I could easily put myself in the top five. I'm No. 1, and you can put the rest wherever they fall.

I would put myself No. 1, and then Provodnikov, and then Alvarado. Then I would put Mayfield and then I would put Danny. Out of all of them guys, that's the level I feel that they're at.

They're all different styles, of course, and they're all totally different fighters, but I think that all of those other fights prepared me for Danny. It's just that I expected more from Danny, you know? I still watch Provodnikov. He's a great fighter.

Danny is, too. I take nothing from away from Danny, but I think they were all tougher than Danny. At least, physically, I thought they were tougher. What fighter's style has most influenced yours?

MH: I would say James Toney. That guy, you could learn everything about boxing from watching James Toney in his prime. He can do everything, push off of you, fight off the ropes, and I don't think that anybody has even seen me fight off the ropes, not even against Alvarado.

I watched a lot of James Toney. James Toney is one of my favorite fighters and a great technician. You watch his fights, and you can really learn a lot from them. Your thoughts on the scorecards of the Showtime commentators?

MH: I think that they were all right and on point. They were right there as close as the judges were. I agree with all of them, especially Paulie. I think that Paulie was hitting it right on the head with his commentary, too.

With everything that he was saying about everything that I was doing, he broke it down exactly the way that I was executing it and what I was doing to Danny. What Paulie was saying was right in every way.

I mean talking about my rhythm, Paulie was doing a great job of explaining what I was doing. Hopefully, everybody was paying attention to Paulie and getting into the fight, because everything that he said that I was doing to Danny was right on point. In the end, did the fight go the way that you had game-planned?

MH: When I was in the actual fight, and putting pressure on him in the rounds, it came into my mind that this was exactly the fight that I figured it would be. It was happening, and that's why I felt comfortable in there.

You saw me fighting confidently, and you could see our body languague. He just couldn't adjust to me, you know? He fought well is some rounds, and he tried to make adjustments, but I just felt like I had his number that night. Who would you like to fight next?

MH: If a rematch with Danny doesn't happen, and Danny doesn't want to fight me, then I'll take whoever is the next big gun out there. If that's Lucas Matthysse, then that's who I want. Or if it's Provodnikov, then that's who I want.

I want my next fight to be against the next most dangerous fighter out there if Danny doesn't fight me again. Danny was up at the top, but I showed everybody what he's all about.

Provodnikov might be the next best-known guy out there. I mean, nobody wants to fight this guy. Our first fight was a helluva fight, and it was my toughest fight, so far. But I think that would be a helluva fight if we could do that again.

Provodnikov has a world title, and I want a world title, so that's the goal, and if I could get that, then that's the fight that I would want next.