Mauricio Herrera is known as “El Maestro” (the teacher) in the boxing world, but after making a convincing case as to why he should have won his junior welterweight title challenge against champ Danny Garcia on Saturday, maybe the tough and crafty Southern Californian should be known as “El Abogado” (the lawyer).
Herrera was still disappointed about the outcome of his fight in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, which was seen on Showtime. A majority of observers (both media and fans) thought Herrera did enough to win a decision against the unbeaten Garcia.
Instead, Herrera left Puerto Rico perplexed as to how two of the three judges thought Garcia did enough to win. After 48 hours and a long flight back to his home in Riverside, Calif., Herrera reflected on the fight and still believes he should have THE RING, WBA and WBC world titles wrapped around his waist.
“I’ve watched the fight three or four times,” Herrera told RingTV.com over the telephone on Monday night. “Each time I watch it, the beating that I gave Garcia gets worse and worse. He never adjusted to anything that I did. We were boxing him and pressuring him when we needed to.”
“What made me laugh was after the fight when he was being interviewed. He was saying that he was starting to adjust. I was like ‘When did you adjust?’ He barely landed anything. He hardly landed that left hook. I landed more than him.”
Herrera may have a point. Herrera landed 221 total punches to Garcia’s 204 and he also landed more jabs at a three-to-one ratio.
According to CompuBox, Garcia did land 150 power punches to Herrera’s 82, which Herrera questioned as to where Garcia landed those punches when his face hardly had a mark on it.
Herrera pointed to the crowd reaction and what the Showtime commentators said to him after the fight as proof that his work during the fight was more effective than Garcia’s.
“The Puerto Rican crowd supported me and wanted pictures with me,” he said. “The commentators thought I won the fight. The only thing that I want people to know was that I was not tired at all in the fight. The announcers thought that I was tired in the 11th round, but I wasn’t. I was conserving my energy for the 12th round.”
To some, Herrera may sound like a sore loser. Instead, Herrera sounded like a confident and relaxed fighter, one who felt had done his job on Saturday night.
Asked about what his future plans are, Herrera said he wants a rematch against Garcia. If a rematch does not materialize, he said he is willing to take on any of the top fighters at 140 pounds.
“We asked Golden Boy Promotions (Herrera’s new promoter) for a rematch today (Monday). That’s something that we want. If that doesn’t work out, I want to fight the biggest and the best fighters out there. No one wants to fight (Lucas) Matthysse. I’m willing to fight him.”
Before Herrera fought Garcia, there was talk that Garcia would fight one or two more fights at 140 pounds, then make the move up to 147 pounds. After the fight, Garcia began hinting about making a move up to the welterweight division sooner rather than later.
The comments humored Herrera, who believed Garcia was looking for a cop out.
“Garcia kept saying he had a bad day and that he was not happy with his performance. He had a bad day because he knew he lost the fight. Now he’s saying he wants to move up to 147 pounds when he never said that before our fight. He had all that time to prepare for our fight. He knew I landed the better and cleaner punches.”
It is hard not to feel bad for Herrera, but that is boxing. It is not the first time a decision goes against a fighter who though he won and it will not be the last.
The only answer for the dispute in opinions is for a rematch to take place between the two fighters, but Herrera is taking the higher road as he believes bigger and better fights are out there for him.
If there is a lesson to be learned, it is that fight fans want to watch Herrera again in the future.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing