Mauricio Herrera met Jose Benavidez in the TV opener on HBO, from the Cosmo in Vegas, on Saturday night, and the unbeaten man's status stayed the same. Herrera was a busy beaver, ultra active to the body, and but didn't sway the judges; Benavidez won a UD12, via scores of 116-112, 116-112, 117-111. Herrera's experience spoke loudly, as did his stamina, to me, but the judges had final say.
The stats: Herrera went 285-870 to 250-647 for the winner.
Ben (21-0 going in) is a Phoenix guy, while Herrera (21-4 entering) is a Cali guy.
It was Herrera, then Benny, then up for grabs late.
Ben's jab was on message, and the upjab stung Herrera. The swollen left eye didn't become too bothersome on Herrera, who stalked Ben, went low and high, banged to the body with the right, as Ben backed up a lot and countered. Herrera was up 89 to 80 in power punches thru eight.
In the ninth, H bore in, sent the message to the judges he wanted it more. “Herrera has seized the initiative once more,” said Hall of Famer to be Jim Lampley after nine.
Ben's long jab popped to start the tenth. Herrera hung on the ropes, as his corner yelled for him not to. Then Ben backed to the ropes, took a breather. He deserved it, as H established a Compubox record for landed body blows…and this was with two rounds remaining.
In the 11th, the body assault continued. A sweeping left hook from Herrera jazzed the crowd. “You gotta stop him,” the Ben corner told their guy. In the 12th, both demanded much of themselves. They flurried and went to the cards.