by Rick Reeno
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas - Junior welterweight contender Mike Alvarado (33-0, 23KOs) won a ten round unanimous decision over a very brave Mauricio Herrera (18-2, 7KOs). The scores were 99-91, 97-93 and 96-94.
As expected, Alvarado came out pressing the action and easily pushed Herrera back. Herrera stayed close and was able to counter well and find the right openings. Alvarado started throwing bombs in the second, and Herrera stood his ground while firing his own punches in return. The action was non-stop, as both of them stood close to trade combinations. Herrera's face was already showing the damage from the numerous exchanges.
Hererra tried to start boxing in the third, but Alvarado's pressure forced him to continue trading punches on the inside. Herrera showed heart and fast hands, firing back with multiple punches to counter Alvarado's heavy hands. Herrera was able to outland and probably outpunch Alvarado in the fourth. However, Alvarado's punches were much heavier and doing more damage. Alvarado's face was started to swell.
The action appeared to slow down for the first two minutes of the fifth. After Alvarado pinned Herrera against the ropes in the final minute, they started trading punches until the bell. By the end of the seventh round, Herrera's face was an complete wreck. A cut opened up above his left eye and his face was badly swollen on both sides.
Herrera's left eye was practically swollen shut by the ninth and Alvarado was starting to land his punches flush. In the tenth and final round, Alvarado came out with bad intentions and wanted to close the fight with a knockout. Herrera continued to show his heart and fought back to keep referee Kenny Bayless from stopping the fight. In the final twenty seconds, they stood toe to toe with punches flying.