Mauricio Herrera on Jose Benavidez Jr.: ‘I’m looking to steal the show’
Mauricio Herrera will not be taking many backward steps on Saturday against unbeaten Jose Benavidez Jr., whom he plans to challenge step-for-step in what could well be a toe-to-toe affair at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Nicknamed “El Maestro” for his creativity and ring savvy, Herrera (21-4, 7 knockouts) will be in his third fight of 2014 against Benavidez (21-0, 15 KOs) in support of a main event featuring two-division titlist Tim Bradley in a welterweight bout against Diego Chaves on HBO.
“I’m looking to steal the show,” said Herrera, 34, who rebounded from a disputed majority decision loss to RING champion Danny Garcia in March with a majority decision over former title challenger Johan Perez in July.
“I want to give my all and make sure that people remember my fight. Both of our styles are hungry and aggressive. You’re going to get an action-packed fight…If I see an opening, I’m going to take it. I’m not looking to go the distance. I’ll be willing to take risks.”
Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, Herrera also owns a unanimous decision victory over former WBO 140-pound titleholder Ruslan Provodnikov from January 2011, although he lost subsequent, consecutive unanimous decisions to Mike Alvarado and Karim Mayfield in April and October 2012, respectively.
Herrera said he has prepared for any notion of a height disadvantage, even though he stands 5-foot-7 and-a-half compared to the listed 5-foot-11 for Benavidez.
“All of my sparring partners have been a similar height as him and some have been heavier too,” said Herrera of Benavidez, 22, who has not gone further than eight rounds in a fight.
“I’m looking to get inside with a guy that tall and use a lot of head movement and defense. I’ll be pulling out a little bit of everything. There’s only one week left and we’re ready.”
A fighter whose past includes having sparred with Manny Pacquiao, Benavidez will be in his fourth fight of the year against the seasoned Herrera. In his last fight in July, Benavidez scored two knockdowns during a first-round knockout of Henry Auraad.
“He’s an up-and-coming, young star. A lot of people are waiting to see if he passes my test. He has some great tools,” said Herrera. “He uses his height very well and he’s patient too. There’s going to be a lot of new things for him to experience on Dec. 13 though.”
Note: Quotes from a release