Danny Garcia-Mauricio Herrera: Pre-Fight Report Card

By Cliff Rold

It must be fun to prove people wrong.

Danny Garcia is getting good at it.

Mr. Underrated laid aside mountains of skepticism last year when he soundly beat, and even dropped, red-hot offensive machine Lucas Matthysse.  Whatever he didn’t prove when he blasted out Amir Khan, whatever doubt remained when Zab Judah mounted a late rally, was set aside.

Garcia is the best Jr. Welterweight in the World until proven otherwise.  The man who might be the most fun in trying to knock him off, WBO 140 lb. titlist Ruslan Provodnikov, is likely unavailable for the time being due to promotional and network issues.

It would be better if that wasn’t true.

For now, Garcia makes his first defense of the lineal crown he laid claim to last September on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez with an eye towards perhaps one day sharing the bill with Mayweather himself.  

Let’s go the report cards.

The Ledgers

Danny Garcia
Age: 25
Title: WBC Super Lightweight (2012-Present, 4 Defenses); WBA “Super” Super Lightweight (2012-Present, 3 Defenses); Lineal/TBRB/Ring Jr. Welterweight (2013-Present, 1st Attempted Defense)
Previous Titles: None
Height: 5’8 ½
Weight : 139.75 lbs.
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 139.6 lbs.
Hails from: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Record: 27-0, 16 KO

Record in Major Title Fights: 5-0, 2 KO
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 5 (Nate Campbell UD10; Kendall Holt SD12; Erik Morales UD12, KO4; Amir Khan TKO4; Zab Judah UD12)


Mauricio Herrera
Age: 33
Title/Previous Titles: None
Height: 5’10
Weight: 139.25 lbs.
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 140.1 lbs.
Hails from: Riverside, California
Record: 20-3, 7 KO
Record in Major Title Fights: 1st Title Fight
Rankings: Unrated
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: 3 (Mike Anchondo L8; Ruslan Provodnikov UD12; Mike Alvarado L10)

Pre-Fight: Speed – Garcia B+; Herrera B
Pre-Fight: Power – Garcia B+; Herrera C-
Pre-Fight: Defense – Garcia B+; Herrera B
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Garcia A; Herrera B+

Win or lose this weekend, it’s hard not to be happy for someone like Herrera.  Like Ruslan Provodnikov a year ago when he got a crack at Tim Bradley, Herrera is a guy who has toiled through the ranks waiting for a chance to show he belongs.  That chance is here.  Sure, he’s lost along the way but he never looked bad doing it and we can hope he brings his best fight, the culmination of his experience, into the ring on Saturday. 

He’ll need to if he’s to have a shot.

Garcia’s evolution since the Campbell and Holt fights is one of the best examples in recent history of grooming a fighter for his time.  When Garcia was having rough moments with an old Erik Morales in his first title shot, it was easy to wonder if he was the real deal.  All he’s done is continue to prove it.

He does it with an understanding of who he is as a fighter, excellent fundamentals, and enough power to make anyone wary.  Garcia’s jab and left hook are real weapons and he’s much harder to catch clean than he looks.  He’s able to handle faster fighters with timing and stronger fighters with physicality of his own.  Combine that with proven mental toughness, a solid chin, and a chip on the shoulder, and Garcia has become a complete fighter. 

Herrera has not been to date and his lack of power will always be an issue.  He made a good show with Alvarado but couldn’t match him for impact.  The Provodnikov fight was a grueling affair that could have gone either way, Herrera proving his chin and outworking the workhorse with a jab, activity, clever counters and shots to the body when he needed them.  Like Garcia, Herrera is the sort of fighter who is always professional.  He throws where they should be and doesn’t get flustered when he misses. 

He’s likely going to be there all night.

Can he get off enough to make a run at the crown?  If this turns into a fight with lots of leather flying, the faster man has the advantage.  That’s Garcia.  Herrera will have to play off Garcia’s lead and hope he can frustrate him, steadily finding ways to make his offense stand out.  Herrera has proven toughness.  Does he have the sort of once in a career performance in him that he’ll need to win?  The heart may be more willing than the flesh. 

The Pick

Garcia earned his way to the place as lineal king at 140 last year with the win over Matthysse.  A winnable but still reasonably competitive victory lap defense is nothing new historically.  Herrera is the sort of fighter who can upset anyone on the right night but with no eraser to speak of, he’s got a tough road to hoe.  Garcia doesn’t seem to have nights where he doesn’t show up and he’ll want to make a great impression in Puerto Rico.  He won’t stop Herrera but he’ll win a commanding decision and build buzz for what should be an eventual, if not quite inevitable, clash with Floyd Mayweather no later than 2015.

Report Card Picks 2014: 8-5

Cliff’s Notes…

No one is sold on his chin yet and won’t be until it gets proven, but 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Deontay Wilder (30-0, 20 KO) appears to have everything else a Heavyweight needs: size, speed, power, and a killer instinct.  Malik Scott (36-1-1, 13 KO) is the first true test of his career and a place to see where Wilder’s technical deficiencies need work before moving towards the only fight at Heavyweight that really matters for anyone who wants to be the king: a challenge of Wladimir Klitschko.  The pick is Wilder by stoppage after struggling early to figure Scott out…The rematch between Juan Manuel Lopez (33-3, 30 KO) and Daniel Ponce De Leon (45-5, 35 KO) seems to boil down simply.  Since stopping De Leon in one in 2008, De Leon has gotten better and Lopez has not.  Lopez looked shot last time out.  De Leon should pick the bones after a cautious start. 

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by jef20071 on 03-15-2014

[QUOTE=mattr;14328595]Judah is a former champion. He should be listed on Garcia's stats.[/QUOTE] Bull**** Danny garcia lost Herrera won that fight, its bull**** scoring that's why I'm hating boxing anymore and I've been a fan long time. Herrera got robbed.

Comment by buddyguns on 03-15-2014

I can't wait to get a look at Wilder against a lively opponent. Anyone got any predictions?

Comment by nycsmooth on 03-15-2014

Total mismatch...goes as long as Garcia wants it ...

Comment by crold1 on 03-15-2014

Indeed. Human error. To be fixed.

Comment by sugarsmosley_ on 03-15-2014

[QUOTE=mattr;14328595]Judah is a former champion. He should be listed on Garcia's stats.[/QUOTE] former undisputed champ too

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (7)
Top Headlines Hearn Dares Team Parker: Make Your Claims To Joshua's Face! Parker Feels Boost From Deontay Wilder's Encouraging Words Avni Yildirm Arrives To Help Canelo Prepare For Golovkin Jeff Horn Helping Hogan Prepare For WBO Eliminator With Kelly Video: Hearn on Dana White Aiming To Sign Anthony Joshua Floyd Mayweather in MMA - Not Betting Against It Sanchez Questions 'Meat' - Says Golovkin Wants To Punish Canelo Ryan Garcia To Return on Canelo-Golovkin Card After KO Win Jose Ramirez Must Fight Regis Prograis, Says WBC Prez Team Estrada Hope To Get Sor Rungvisai Rematch in The Fall NSAC On Golovkin's Claims: No Favoritism For Canelo in Vegas Jerwin Ancajas vs. Jonas Sultan May Land in Bay Area or LA Ruben Villa, LaRon Mitchell Return To Action on April 14 Erislandy Lara: If Hurd Gets Reckless, He'll Get Knocked Out! Michael Grant vs. Michael Sprott Set Down For MBS Arena Max Ornelas vs. Tony Lopez on April 20 in Vegas, BeIN Sports Paul Spadafora Pleads Guilty To Resisting Arrest, Simple Assault Magdaleno vs. Dogboe Event Set, Undercard Details Revealed Pedraza Targets Lozada Revenge Clash, Arum Likes The Fight Haye Admits: I Thought There Was No Way Bellew Could Win Golovkin To Present Trophy at $1 million Santa Anita Derby Joshua: Hopefully I Can Get Parker Out of There Between 6 and 8 Canelo Vows To Kick Golovkin's 'F***ing Ass' For PED Comments James DeGale: On My Best Day, No One at 168 Can Beat Me! Photos: Dillian Whyte, Lucas Browne - Face-Off at Final Presser Parker Had Two Elbow Surgeries Amid Negotiations for Joshua Fight Logan Yoon vs. Juan Carlos Salgado in Hollywood, Florida Hearn: Whyte Was 'Poor' Against Helenius, Fight Was a Stinker Parker: Joshua, His Team Are Underestimating Me From Fury Fight Abel Sanchez: Golovkin Pissed Off, Tired of Being Pushed Around! Joshua: Expect Blood; Hope Parker Fight is Like Bowe-Holyfield Carlos Molina on Being Cautious With Mexican Meat, 365 Testing Stephen Simmons Contemplating Retirement After Askin Loss Frampton vs. Donaire - WBO Interim-Title Now at Stake Willie Limond Inks With MTK Ahead of His Comeback Joshua Explains Why Parker is Tougher Fight Than Wilder Golovkin: If Canelo Rematch Falls Out - I Want Billy Joe Saunders! Otto Wallin vs. Adrian Granat: Robin Safar Added To The Card Hearn: Whyte vs. Browne Winner Will 100% Get a Title Shot Joshua: I'm Not Overlooking Parker, Not the One Talking Wilder

Latest Active Forum Threads