LOS ANGELES-Hard luck Charlie Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (21-5, 7 Kos) will fight Philadelphia’s “Hammerin” Hank Lundy (25-4-1, 12 Kos) on July 11 at the historic L.A. Sports Arena, first home of the L.A. Lakers, and the very first world champion from Mexico.
The L.A. Sports Arena is closing its doors most likely this year.
Herrera, Lundy along with two other fighters on the main fight card gathered at another historic restaurant El Paseo Inn on Olvera Street. Both will face each other on the Golden Boy Promotions main event. HBO will televise.
“It’s a classic fight between the West Coast and the East Coast,” said Eric Gomez, vice president of Golden Boy. “We’re going to stack the card.”
Others on the fight card that were present included: Sharif Bogere (27-1, 19 Kos) of the lightning fists and feet, and Michael “The Artist” Perez (22-1-2, 10 Kos; seen in Al Applerose photo, on left, next to Herrera, Lundy, Bogere), who hails from New Jersey but trains currently in Oxnard with Robert Garcia.
“We’re supposed to move the gym to Riverside,” said Perez, who plans to make the move along with the entire Oxnard boxing crew.
Speaking of Riverside, it’s where Herrera lives and trains and where the hardcore followers reside. But lately, his fandom has grown from the last several fights that have seen him lose much disputed decisions to WBC junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia and in his last fight against Jose Benavidez.
Golden Boy Promotions expects Herrera’s ever growing popularity to lure the fans to a main event. His aggressive fighting style has proven itself many times, including wins over Ruslan Provodnikov and Cleotis Pendarvis.
“Last year I had a tough year. Two of those fights I lost decisions,” said Herrera. “We’re two fighters not afraid to exchange.”
Lundy was not shy about spilling his feelings even in Los Angeles.
“Mauricio, I been seeing you talking trash,” said Lundy at the press luncheon, adding that he knows his birthday coming up. “This is going to be a birthday butt whipping.”
L.A. Sports Arena
This card could very well could be the last boxing or sporting event ever held at the L.A. Sports Arena that opened its doors in the late 1950s. The first boxing event took place there between the World Champion bantamweight Alphonse Halimi and Jose Becerra. It was Mexico’s Becerra who emerged the winner by knockout before a sold out crowd on July 8, 1959. “It was the loudest I ever heard when he won the title,” said publicist Bill Caplan, who was present at that fight. “It hurt my ears it was so loud.”
Caplan added that there were numerous Boxing Hall of Fame fighters who entered the boxing ring at that venue, including Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Archie Moore, Danny “Little Red” Lopez and Bobby Chacon.
“Bobby Chacon gave Danny Lopez a boxing lesson the first time they fought,” said Caplan.
A couple of years ago Amir Khan fought Carlos Molina and before that Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez rumbled with Mexico’s Juan Francisco Estrada in a classic war between mini-flyweights.
The Sports Arena has been a good home to grand boxing events and the Olympics of 1984.
“It’s where all of the biggest boxing events took place,” said Caplan. “Outside of Madison Square Garden and the Olympic Auditorium, the Sports Arena has more boxing history than any other place in the world.”
Herrera and Lundy are well aware of that fact.
“We’re going to close it down,” said Herrera, prideful of that historic fact.
Almost 56 years later exactly, the L.A. Sports Arena will stage its last fight card.
For tickets and information call (800) 745-3000.