Pound4Pound, Boxing News

  Mauricio Herrera Steals The Show
On ESPN2 Friday Night Fight Opener

By Robert Jones
Photos: William Trillo


Well, that didn’t take long. On the 13th season opener of ESPN 2’s “Friday Night Fights,” the first major boxing broadcast of the year, we have a questionable decision. In the main event of the evening, Mauricio Herrera won a unanimous decision over highly regarded prospect Ruslan Provodnikov, in addition to picking up the WBC Continental Americas and IBF North American Junior Welterweight title bouts.

From the opening bell it appeared that Provodnikov may make an easy night of it, as he came out highly aggressive and effective. Herrera threw the occasional combination, but Provodnikov, fighting in the conventional stance, won the round with a series of looping right hands and left hooks.

By the end of the second round Herrera already had serious swelling under his right eye caused by the accurate left hooks of Provodnikov. However, as Herrera’s eye was swelling, Provodnikov seemed to already be gasping for breath, as he fought with his mouth open the remainder of the fight. It appeared to ring side observers that his mouth guard may have been too big, but for the most part it didn’t seem to slow him down too much.

Provodnikov landed the first big punch of the night, a big left hook with Herrera along the ropes. From there the fighters made a complete circle of the ring, and when they returned to the same spot Provodnikov had just landed his hook, he landed another one, but this one was more of a grazing shot. Through three rounds it seemed Provodnikov was comfortably in control.

In round four Herrera had by far his most successful round. He met Provodnikov in the center of the ring, and landed a combination to the Russian’s head, much to the delight of the pro-Herrera crowd. It looked like Provodnikov may have been looking for an opening that never came, or taking a round off.

If Provodnikov was having an issue with his mouthpiece in earlier rounds, he didn’t in round five, as he didn’t wear it the entire round. Herrera didn’t mind, as most of his punches were aimed at his opponent’s unprotected teeth. Provodnikov also didn’t seem to notice, focusing on the task at hand. The round was close, but once again it was in Herrera’s favor, as he was a little bit more active than his opponent.

Herrera continued to look good in rounds six and seven, throwing combinations. Provodnikov was also throwing punches, making the swelling around Herrera’s eye even worse, but the more accurate fighter was Herrera.

From here the fight changed back in favor of Herrera, and on my scorecard, he won the final five rounds. Provodnikov continued to stalk his opponent, as he did the majority of the fight, but throughout the remainder of the fight he was much more effective. Herrera had his moments, making a few of the rounds close, but it appeared he was having an issue throughout the last few rounds of the fight, as his eye was now completely shut from the damage.

Half-blind, and now bleeding from the bruise, Herrera continued to fight valiantly the last two rounds of the fight. However, his combinations were too few and far between for the effective aggression of Provodnikov. The fighters fought to the final bell, much to the delight of the crowd. Following the end of the fight, both fighters were sent to the hospital.

Pound4Pound.com scored the fight 116-112 for Provodnikov. Two of the three judges agreed with our score, and the final score was 115-113, in favor of Herrera, earning him a surprise victory in the eyes of many ringside observers. A quick survey of a handful of media members showed they agreed with our score, giving Herrera four rounds at most. Still, others thought Provodnikov was aggressive but not effective, and gave rounds to Herrera. Regardless, most of this Las Vegas crowd would agree they would love to see a rematch.

With the victory Herrera improves his record to 16-1 (7 KO’s) while Provodnikov suffers his first professional defeat, dropping to 17-0 (11 KO’s).

Andadre Stays On Track

In the co-feature of the evening, 2008 Olympian Demetrius Andrade won a wide unanimous decision over Mauricio Herrera’s brother, Alberto. Alberto was game, fighting every second of every round, but Andrade was too big and fast for his smaller opponent. This bout took place at 152 pounds, and Herrera normally fights at 140. Andrade couldn’t close the show with a knockout, but did the next best thing by nearly earning a shutout on the judges’ scorecards, winning 80-72, 80-72, and 79-73.

Off-TV Bouts

Cruiserweight Henry Namauu decisions Manuel Otero 0ver 6
59-55 | 58-56 | 58-56

Super featherweight Lonnie Smith TKO’s Jose Gomez in 1
Time: 2:40 | referee: Kenny Bayless
Count waived, Gomez down twice

Light welterweight Oscar Andrade decisions Deth'Marcus Hall over 4
40-36 | 40-36 | 40-36

Super bantamweight Richard Contreras TKO's Juan Tepoz in 1
Time: 0:43 | referee: Joe Cortez

Super featherweight Jesus Gutierez decisions Frankie Martinez over 4
40-35 | 40-35 | 40-36


Schedule | Video | Audio | Photos | Ring Girls | P4P Top 10 | Shop | Links | Contact Us

© Pound4Pound.com