By Francisco Salazar
(LOS ANGELES, Calif.) - Mauricio Herrera has been on the short end of a lot of questionable decisions throughout his career.
Nothing much changed on Saturday night. The only thing different though was that Hank Lund may have been the one who felt he was short-changed.
Herrera won a fifth round majority technical decision over Hank Lundy before a partisan crowd at the Sports Arena.
With the win, Herrera won the vacant NABF super lightweight title and improved to 22-5, 7 KOs. Lundy falls to 25-5-1, 12 KOs.
It is an understatement that Herrera has fallen victim to questionable scoring throughout his career. It first began in December of 2009, when Herrera lost a disputed decision to Mike Anchondo, the first loss of his career.
Then there were the decision losses to Danny Garcia and Jose Benavidez in 2014, fights where many members of the media and fans believed Herrera should have won.
Lundy had not fought since December 6, when he lost a split decision to Thomas Dulorme.
Herrera had to battle through adversity early on in his fight against Lundy. Moments before the bell sounded, an accidental clash of heads produced a cut on Herrera's hairline.
In the second round, Herrera seemed to be stunned by a right hand to the head from Lundy. During an exchange, an accidental clash of heads produced a cut right above Herrera's right eye.
Lundy seemed to have momentum on his side, but Herrera seemed to make adjustments in the third round. He began to take initiative, allowing him to be first and beat Lundy to the punch. Herrera seemed to score well with straight and counter right hands to the head.
It was a carbon copy in round four and Herrera seemed to do well in round before referee Jack Reiss called a halt to the action to allow the physician to look at the cut on Herrera's cut. It looked as though the ringside physician allowed the fight to continue, but referee Jack Reiss waved the fight over at 2:04.
Because the fight had completed at least four rounds and it was stopped because of an accidental head-butt, the fight went to the scorecards.
One judge scored the bout 48-48, while the other two judges scored the bout 48-47 in favor of Herrera.
“He stung me in the first round and I kind of lost focus," said Herrera after the fight. "I started finding my momentum as the rounds went on. But, the issue with the cut really made the fight lose its rhythm and momentum. I can’t see how deep the cut is but I feel physically fine and could have kept going. I am in good condition and was landing good body shots and was wearing him down."
Lundy was upset more with the scorecards and Herrera than he was in Reiss stopping the fight.
“You saw it. He couldn’t handle my speed, my power or my skills so he was holding and doing a bunch of other dirty stuff. I know I won the fight. And, I was ready to take him out if it kept going.
After the fight, Herrera called out Lucas Matthysse.
Lightweight Michael Perez knocked out Luis Sanchez in the sixth round, winning a regional title belt.
Sanchez was a replacement for Sharif Bogere, who withdrew from the fight about two weeks ago with an undisclosed injury he suffered in training camp.
The fight lacked excitement early on as Perez and Sanchez looked to land one punch as opposed to throwing and landing combinations. There were lulls in the action when both fighters tied up, grabbing onto one another.
A cascade of boos rained down from the crowd in the third round. Both fighters continued to fight at a slow pace, which brought down more boos from the crowd.
Midway through the sixth, Perez threw and landed a hard, left jab to the face of Sanchez, dropping him to the canvas. Sanchez struggled to get up, beating the count, but referee Raul Caiz Sr. waved the fight over at 1:20.
Perez improves to 23-1-2, 11 KOs, while Sanchez falls to 17-4-1, 5 KOs.
Joseph 'JoJo' Diaz won a hard-fought and close 10 round unanimous decision over Rene Alvarado.
Alvarado was Diaz's first significant test as a pro. The fighter from Nicaragua came to fight, not letting up on the pressure early on in the fight.
The southpaw Diaz scored a knockdown midway through round one, dropping Alvarado with a left cross to the head. Alvarado complained that their feet tangled up, causing him to lose his balance.
Whether it was a legitimate knockdown or not, Alvarado came on in the second round. He got on the inside of Diaz's guard, landing straight right hands to the head and body. He connected more in the third round with shots to the body as well.
The momentum seemed to shift in favor of Diaz in the middle rounds. He was able to keep his distance from Alvarado, countering effectively when the aggressive Alvarado pressed forward. Diaz seemed to control the rounds, but Alvarado would have his moments, bulling his way forward and smothering any offense Diaz threw to counter on the inside.
Alvarado found some success in the final two rounds, pressing the fight and forcing Diaz to fight on the inside or counter much quickly than expected. Diaz went down early in the 10th round, but referee Thomas Taylor ruled that Diaz went down from a slip. Diaz slowed down in the final round and might have been happy to hear the final bell to end the fight.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Diaz, 98-91, 96-93, and 95-94.
Diaz goes to 17-0, 10 KOs, while Alvarado drops to 22-5, 15 KOs.
Junior lightweight Nick Arce (3-0, 3 KOs) scored an unpopular second round stoppage win over Ricardo Alvarado. After an even first round, both fighters pressed the attack in the second round. Arce had Alvarado (7-7, 6 KOs) with his back against the ropes when referee Wayne Hedgepeth abruptly stopped the bout at 1:35. The crowd loudly booed the stoppage, while Alvarado looked bewildered from the fallout of the stoppage.
Lightweight Ivan Delgado (6-0-1, 2 KOs) won a one-sided six round decision over Angel Albelo. Delgado landed the more telling blows as Albelo (4-8-3, 1 KO) fought more defensively with each passing round. All three judges scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Delgado.
In the opening bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card, Zachary Ochoa (12-0, 5 KOs) remained unbeaten with an eight round unanimous decision over David Rodela. Ochoa was the busier fighter, landing at will, but Rodela (17-11-4, 7 KOs) was able to land a series of rights to Ochoa's head. Ochoa was at his best working from the outside, keeping Rodela at the end of his punches. Despite having a left eye that was closing during the last two rounds, Rodela pressed the action while Ochoa boxed around the ring. All three judges scored the bout 79-73 in favor of Ochoa.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing