El Maestro Edges Mookie In Jr. Welter Showdown

BY David A. Avila ON October 09, 2009
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ONTARIO, CALIF.-Crowds arrived expecting to see two of the best junior welterweights in Southern California and were definitely not disappointed on Friday.

Riverside’s undefeated Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera met super talented Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis of South Central L.A. in an eight round non-title clash and after a slow start was able to pull out a majority decision at the Doubletree Hotel .

But it was close.

Herrera had been dominating opposition with his accurate jab and above average defense but Pendarvis was not just any fighter just one of the slickest and quickest 140-pounders in the West Coast. In the first two rounds the left-handed quickster Pendarvis was not easy to find.

“He was like a Pernell Whitaker in there but I expected that,” said Herrera (13-0, 6 KOs), who is usually the quicker fighter. “I was a little frustrated.”

Pendarvis landed that blazing left hand at will and snapped Herrera’s head back numerous times in the first two rounds. A couple of right hooks to the body from Pendarvis had the crowd ooohing with those shots.

Herrera turned things around with his lethal left jab that snapped Pendarvis’s head several times, but after the third round found it difficult to land the left jab.

“It’s hard to land a jab against a southpaw,” said Herrera. “So I went to the body first.”

Both fighters had their moments and landed hard blows against each other, but after the fourth round Pendarvis tired and wasn’t able to keep up the pace. Still, he was dangerous and effective when he did unleash punches.

“He did good. I don’t want to take nothing away from him,” said Pendarvis (10-2-1, 3 KOs), who has become a sort of gym legend in Southern California with his defensive and offensive abilities. “I felt I won the fight.”

Judge Gwen Adair scored it 79-73 for Herrera, judge David Mendoza had it 76-76, and Wayne Hedgepeth scored it 77-75 for Herrera.

“I felt he won about two rounds,” said Herrera. “I knew he was going to tire later in the fight and he did.”

Pendarvis had faced the tougher competition and showed his ring savvy against the sharp-shooting Herrera. But the lack of conditioning hurt him in the end.

“The last round could have gone either way,” said Pendarvis. “He threw a flurry and the judges gave it to him.”

Pendarvis asked Herrera and his promoter Thompson Boxing Promotions for a rematch. It should be even better than the first fight.

Alex Camponovo, the match maker for Thompson Boxing, said a rematch is “highly unlikely until much further down the line when both fighters can run up some more wins.”

Pendarvis also said he has a fight scheduled for Oct. 22 at Commerce Casino. His management team plans to file a protest with the California State Athletic Commission due to last-minute changes of the referee and judges.

Prelims

In a featherweight contest Mexico’s Juan Carlos Burgos (23-0, 16 KOs) knocked out Colombia’ s Yogli Herrera (22-12, 15 KOs) with a crisp left hook during an exchange at 1:17 of the sixth round. Burgos had floored Herrera with the same punch in the third round but the Colombian managed to evade further punishment for three rounds.

Ontario’s Jonathan Arrellano (4-0) blitzed through Cathedral City’s Adrian Aleman (6-6-4) after four rounds in a bantamweight contest. Arrellano’s speed and defense were too puzzling for Aleman who never stopped attacking and had some good moments in the short fight. Two judges scored it 40-36 and a third 39-37 for Arrellano.

A good junior middleweight match between Riverside’s Alberto Herrera (5-0, 4 KOs) and Inglewood’s Malik Bazille (0-2) ended in a bizarre technical knockout. The first round saw referee Jose Cobian deduct a point from Bazille for kidney shots. After back and forth action a right hand sent Bazille through the ropes and his leg twisted badly in the process. Unable to continue the fight was stopped at 1:18 of the third round.

William Williams (3-2) dropped Gabriel Silva (1-1) with almost every punch he landed including a right jab. Altogether Silva was floored three times, the last one coming at 1:38 of the first round of a heavyweight fight.

In an awkward clinch-fest Manuel Delcid (1-0) won by split-decision over Guatemala’s Oscar Chinchilla (1-1) after four rounds in a lightweight bout. Delcid hit and shouldered his way through southpaw Chinchilla’s attempts to land a combination. Two judges scored it 39-37 for Delcid who won his first pro bout.

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