By Keith Idec
Mauricio Herrera has a healthy respect for Karim Mayfield, but also believes Mayfield is in for the most difficult fight of his six-year pro career tonight.
Their 10-round, junior-welterweight bout in Verona, N.Y., is one Herrera realizes he must win if he is to get his career back on track. Herrera (18-2, 7 KOs), of Lake Elsinore, Calif., lost a 10-round unanimous decision in his last fight against Mike Alvarado (33-1, 23 KOs).
Five weeks after Herrera’s setback in Las Vegas, the undefeated Mayfield’s dominated previously unbeaten Raymond Serrano (18-1, 8 KOs), whom San Francisco’s Mayfield stopped in the fifth round of a bout broadcast by ESPN2 from Albany, N.Y. Mayfield floored Serrano twice in that fight, but Herrera promises to provide much more resistance in one of three bouts HBO will televise as part of a “Boxing After Dark” tripleheader scheduled to start at 10:15 p.m. EDT.
“This is an exciting fight,” Herrera said. “This is the fight of my life, right here. Karim Mayfield’s a tough guy, undefeated. But hey, I’m used to that. I’ve been fighting all the prospects, undefeated. They’re tough, but I’ve shown I can get in there and mix it up. I’ve fought some good guys on my past record … Karim is a real big fight for [me]. I’ll be ready. I’m giving it everything. This is my life right here.”
Though skilled and abundantly confident, the 31-year-old Mayfield (16-0-1, 10 KOs) hasn’t beaten anyone on the elite level, either. That’s what makes this fight such a significant test for both boxers.
“I’m going to do a little bit of everything,” said Herrera, who upset prospect Mike Dallas Jr. (19-2-1, 8 KOs) by majority decision in a 10-rounder 16 months ago in Temecula, Calif. “I’ve got a system. “I’m going to feel him out, see what he’s going to try to do [in] the first round and we’ll go from there. I’ve shown that I can box, I can brawl, mix it up with the best, so I’m going feel it out to see what’s going to work best for me.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.