By Cliff Rold
Let’s be clear: Mauricio Herrera won the Jr. Welterweight Championship of the World.
Two of the official judges said different last Saturday. Open scoring let us know the third judge, who had Mauricio Herrera winning by two after eight rounds, somehow found three of the last four rounds to give lineal World Jr. Welterweight Champion Danny Garcia.
Boxing is great at making us laugh when it should make us scream.
Mauricio Herrera picked up his fourth official loss last Saturday. To most who saw the fight, he should have had his hand raised. As compiled by Boxing News, some seventy percent of boxing media providing scores for the fight felt Herrera won the bout.
Another 17% and change had it a draw.
The fight was certainly close, and the minority who saw Garcia the winner need not hang their head. Everyone is wrong sometimes.
Herrera deserved that win.
He should milk it for everything it’s worth.
Until he loses again, for a title or not, Herrera and everyone in his camp should feel free to go to an old canard. Don’t promote him as the man who almost beat Danny Garcia.
Promote Mauricio Herrera as the uncrowned Jr. Welterweight Champion of the World. It has a ring of truth. Maybe it helps him get back into the ring with someone who matters sooner than later. At the least, it might create some pressure on the sanctioning bodies to keep him near a mandatory.
Someone who matters probably won’t be Garcia. That’s a shame. There should be more hue and cry for a rematch. It was a good fight and their business is unresolved. Even in a non-title fight above 140, it would be nice to resolve the issue of the better man. That might not happen and so be it. Garcia has been putting in solid work and will put in more. Many a young champion has a night on their ledger where people remember him the lesser man even after he escaped.
If a rematch can’t happen, 140 has other names for Herrera to look for. Under the same Golden Boy banner Garcia fights for, IBF titlist Lamont Peterson would make a nice foe. A rematch with WBO titlist Ruslan Provodnikov would be stellar as well. Herrera was the first man to best Provodnikov in a closely contested battle in 2011.
It is ironic that their careers have ended up as they have. It’s hard not to see the similarities between Herrera’s near toppling of Danny Garcia and Provodnikov’s arrival-in-defeat versus Timothy Bradley last year.
In both contests, men who made their bones on ESPN2 or ShoBox or other just off-Broadway telecasts got title shots before most would have called them ‘legitimate’ top ten contenders. Given the time to learn their craft, and take their lumps, they were ready when their numbers got called. It was a testament to professionalism in both cases and the latest rebuke of senseless soft matchmaking in search of easy routes to titles.
Being undefeated is great. Being ready to defeat the best is better. If a loss, or two, or even three, is needed to get there, so be it. Herrera’s losses prior to Saturday were all against real guys. Mike Anchondo, Mike Alvarado, and Karim Mayfield all made Herrera better. Without them, and without someone as rugged as Provodnikov, he may not have been ready for the sort of challenge he gave Garcia last weekend.
Mayfield was another big winner last weekend. Since besting Herrera in October 2012, he only been to scratch once but remains unbeaten and deserves a harder look now. If Herrera is the uncrowned champion, what is he?
That’s another of the great things about a guy like Herrera getting a shot and then elevating his game. It can also elevate the names on his resume that gave him trouble. If he can get to a title before Mayfield, wouldn’t Mayfield have cause to demand a rematch?
It’s just another option on the table.
For now, it’s enough to celebrate that Herrera should have options after last weekend. But for a few points here or there, he’s the king at 140 lbs. today.
Instead, he sits uncrowned.
Will he get another chance to sit the throne?
The Weekly Ledger…
But wait, there’s more:
Glazkov Busts Up Adamek: http://www.boxingscene.com/glazkov-fends-off-adameks-late-rally-wins-decision--75682
Ratings Update: http://www.boxingscene.com/boxingscene-ratings-update-garcia-wilder-ponce--75720
Full Ratings: http://www.boxingscene.com/forums/view.php?pg=boxing-ratings
Garcia-Herrera Report Card: http://www.boxingscene.com/danny-garcia-mauricio-herrera-post-fight-report-card--75757
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Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]