by David P. Greisman
Maurico Herrera know that he’s the B-side in Danny Garcia’s upcoming fight — Garcia’s first since his big win last year over Lucas Matthysse, and a homecoming bout in Puerto Rico for a star whose parents were born on the island.
But Herrera says he’s being overlooked and, on March 15, very well could play the spoiler to Garcia’s grand plans.
“I don’t think it takes a really tough guy and a big name to beat Danny,” Herrera, a 33-year-old from Southern California, told reporters on a March 5 conference call. “You know, it can just be a guy like me who has some skills, some smartness and an awkward style that can defeat Danny.”
Garcia, who is 27-0 with 16 knockouts, has put together a string of wins over name opponents.
“I think the biggest difference between me and those guys is a lot of those guys had a lot of amateur backgrounds,” Herrera said, arguing that this could actually be a positive in his case. “I don’t have a big amateur background. So I’m not following with the basic punches and rhythms as those guys have, and that Danny has seen and is used to. I’m a little off-rhythm on my shots. I throw with power and sometimes I have no power. Sometimes I go with speed. I can go inside. I can control distance. And I’m hard to hit, if you’ve seen my fights. So I think all of that will make a big difference.”
Herrera is 20-3 with 7 knockouts. The losses came against Mike Anchondo in 2009, Mike Alvarado in 2012 and Karim Mayfield, also in 2012. The Alvarado fight was competitive, though, and Herrera’s record also includes a win over Ruslan Provodnikov in 2011.
He believes that people don’t truly know him, that he’s being misjudged based on his record, and that he could end up surprising people the way that Provodnikov did against Timothy Bradley last year.
“They see you have your losses and they don’t see your whole story and background,” Herrera said. “They’re going to see that I am at that level and will rise to the occasion.”
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.orgTags: Mauricio Herrera , Danny Garcia , Garcia-Herrera , Garcia vs. Herrera