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Inland Empire Jr. Welter Mauricio Herrera Is Battle Ready



Not many people know that junior welterweight Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera fights in the Inland Empire, one of the major hotbeds for his weight division.

On any given day he can spar Timothy Bradley, Jose Reynoso, Josesito Lopez, Julio Diaz, Artemio Reyes Jr., Steve Quinonez or Antonio Diaz to name some. And that’s not including nearby Los Angeles or San Diego where more junior welterweight prospects reside.

People across the country may not know these boxers but the boxers know who they are.

Now the rest of the country gets to measure Herrera (15-1, 7 KOs) against a proven junior welterweight contender in Ruslan Provodnikov (17-0, 11 KOs) on Friday at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas. ESPN2 will televise the event.

Herrera knows he’s the underdog.

Before embarking to Nevada the soft-spoken Riverside boxer exchanged rounds with hard-hitting speedster John Johnson at the Jurupa Valley Boxing Gym in Rubidoux. The exchanges were quick and hard as both tried to implement their styles.

“He’s very skilled and has a lot of stamina,” said Johnson, who’s also very skilled and powerful. “He doesn’t hit hard but he hits you a lot. It takes its toll after a while.”

That’s been Herrera’s trademark since bursting on the pro scene at age 27. His former trainer did not want him boxing professionally so out of loyalty he stayed an amateur. Finally, his amateur trainer relented and Herrera began showing audiences in Southern California that another junior welterweight had arrived.

It has never been easy.

After showing Thompson Boxing Promotions his talent, they in turn quickly matched him with more experienced and polished pro fighters. Because of Herrera’s age there was no time to soft pedal the Riverside boxer. It’s a system that Thompson Boxing has worked to near perfection with Colombia’s former bantamweight champion Yonnhy Perez, current junior welterweight champion “Desert Storm” Bradley and contenders like Juan Carlos Burgos of Mexico.

Herrera doesn’t mind. In fact, he relishes the challenge.

“We’re both right there trying to get to the top,” said Mauricio Herrera (15-1, 7 KOs), a junior welterweight. “It’s not going to be an easy fight.”

Herrera’s only loss came to former junior lightweight world champion Mike Anchondo, an experienced veteran who won by split decision in front of a national television audience. The dent in his record angers Herrera.

“It was around this same time of the year and I was sick with the flu,” he said. “My legs weren’t there and I still thought I won.”

That single loss dropped him to the back of the line after he had won 14 consecutive pro fights against talented opposition. All were tough fighters that Herrera needed to vanquish to move up the ranks quickly.

Herrera faces the rock solid Provodnikov who has not faced anyone who could deal with his strength and pressure. Knockout victories over Emanuel Augustus and Mexico’s Javier Jauregui were proof of his strength and tenacity.

Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing Promotions, says that the Herrera brothers can’t afford to waste time.

“They’re both in their biggest tests,” Thompson said.

Alberto Herrera, the younger brother of Mauricio, fights former US Olympian Demetrius Andrade (11-0, 8 KOs) on the under card. The junior middleweight knows he faces a very seasoned boxer who has an abundance of assets including, speed, height, extensive amateur experience and he’s a southpaw.

“More than anything I’m mentally ready,” said Alberto Herrera (7-1-1, 5 KOs) who fights at junior middleweight. “People were saying I didn’t want to fight Demetrius (Andrade) but I want to fight him. I want to be the first to beat him.”

Younger brother Alberto Herrera started boxing professionally nearly two years ago and has the same eagerness to test out more experienced fighters. Three months ago he lost to San Diego’s unorthodox southpaw Chris Chatman by technical knockout.

“I really want this fight,” says the younger Herrera.

Willy Silva, who trains the brothers, predicts that they will surprise their more celebrated opponents.

“Nobody gives them a chance but nobody knows them and what they can do,” Silva said.

Both Herrera’s feel confident that they’re ready for anyone in the world, especially Mauricio Herrera who spars with some of the best 140-pound fighters in the world.

“I’m nobody right now,” said Mauricio Herrera. “But after the fight I’ll get some kind of attention.”

Fights on television

Fri. ESPN2, 5 p.m., Mauricio Herrera (15-1), vs. Ruslan Provodnikov (17-0).

Fri. Telefutura, 11:30 p.m., Brandon Gonzalez (13-0) vs. Lester Gonzalez (11-1-1).

Sat. Televisa, 10 p.m., Ganigan Lopez (15-4) vs. Armando Torres (15-7).


2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura



The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.



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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score



This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.


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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland



On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda


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