LOS ANGELES-A junior welterweight showdown between Mauricio Herrera and Hank Lundy was stopped short by accidental head butts and cuts and went to the score cards with the Riverside fighter winning by technical majority decision on Saturday.
The crowd of 4,672 saw Golden Boy Promotions pull out all the stops at the L.A. Sports Arena and Herrera (22-5, 7 Kos) pull out a struggle against Philadelphia’s Lundy (25-5-1, 12 Kos) to win the NABF junior welterweight title. The shortened fight left some with an unfulfilled taste in mouth.
Lundy looked sharp and when the two engaged, Herrera emerged from the exchange with a welt and looked woozy as he kind of staggered around the ring in the first round. He immediately indicated that he was hit by Lundy’s head and referee Jack Reiss agreed.
“I kind of lost focus,” Herrera said. “I started finding my momentum and range later on.”
In the second round Lundy was able to connect with a couple of big shots as Herrera still seemed stunned from the initial clash of heads. He tried to fight his way out but Lundy was sharper and landed. Another exchange saw Herrera connect but he emerged with yet another cut alongside the left eye. Now both eyes were cut.
Lundy was hit with a double left hook but countered with a big left hand that snapped Herrera’s head back. The two exchanged again and Herrera began to bleed once more. The crispness in Herrera’s punches began to show.
“He couldn’t handle my speed, my power or my skills,” said Lundy.
In between rounds it looked like the fight might be stopped but it was allowed to proceed. Herrera’s jab began to connect and the combinations began to flow. The Riverside fighter began to look like his old self. Lundy was still in the fight but seemed a little puzzled.
Herrera moved inside and out and fired to the body and head. Lundy was on full defense but still dangerous. A body shot by Herrera landed flush and suddenly the referee stepped in and halted the action. He motioned to the doctor who looked at the cut closely and told referee Reiss to stop the fight at 2:09 of the fifth round. It went to the score cards where one judge ruled it 48-48 and the other two had it 48-47 for Herrera.
“I can’t see how deep the cut is but I physically feel fine,” Herrera said. “I can keep going. I feel like I was landing my body shots and wearing him down.”
South El Monte’s Jojo Diaz was smothered with blows and pressure from Nicaragua’s Rene Alvarado from the second round on. Diaz scored a knockdown in the first round and that proved the difference on one judge’s score card. Alvarado forced Diaz to fight on his heels and against the ropes. Though the Nicaraguan didn’t punch hard he never stopped firing. Diaz landed left uppercuts but kept giving up ground to Alvarado. After 10 rounds the featherweight fight ended in a wide range of scores 98-91, 96-93, 95-94 for Diaz. Fans booed the decision.
“I felt great. I knew Alvarado was going to bring it and we fought ten hard rounds. But, I landed the bigger shots, the harder shots, and that made the difference,” said Diaz.
Alvarado didn’t agree.
“I think it was an exciting fight, a fight for the people. I was his first big test and he did a good job. But, I feel that I dominated the fight and the win should have been mine,” said Nicaragua’s Alvarado. “This fight should have been for Nicaragua.” [Regarding the second round]: “It wasn’t a knockdown. I tripped. I wasn’t hurt. This fight should have been mine.”
New Jersey’s Mike Perez (23-1-2, 11 Kos) fought past the head butts and holding and scored a knockout at 1:20 of the sixth round over Mexico’s Luis Sanchez (17-4-1, 5 Kos). Perez was cut on the head at least three times and had blood streaming down his head for at least three rounds. A short, stiff left jab sent Sanchez to the ground and he couldn’t recover. Referee Raul Caiz counted him out. Overall it was not a fan pleasing fight as Sanchez continued to hold most of the fight.
Ireland’s Jason Quigley (7-0, 7 Kos) walked into the ring against Michigan’s Tom Howard (8-4, 4 Kos) with but a peep of fanfare. But after two knockdowns and a sizzling combination in the second round the crowd cheered wildly for the Irish middleweight’s knockout win.
Quigley walked forward at the sound of the opening bell with offense on his mind and quickly snapped Howard’s head back with a stiff jab. The Irish slugger moved in carefully with his guard up, not too high, and calmly picked apart Howard’s defense in the first round.
Quigley opened up the second round a little more aggressively as Howard seemed to try and gain respect with a few well intentioned punches. Quigley retaliated with an overhand right that turned Howard around and down to the floor. The force of the blow was fierce and when Howard rose up to his feet the crowd seemed a little surprised. Quigley moved in to attack and fired an overhand right, left and right that sent Howard tumbling down for the count again. He got up. Quigley moved in with a three-punch combination that turned Howard around and the referee stepped in a waved the fight over at 1:21 of the second round. Quigley won his seventh consecutive fight by knockout.
“I always prepare to go to the scorecard at every fight. But, once I see a weakness and opportunity, I have to take him out,” said Quigley of Donegal, Ireland. “Boxing is one of those sports where there are no second chances. No do-overs. You just gotta take that chance. And, it’s a good feeling to know that you can take that chance over the course of a fight with one shot.”
South Central L.A.’s Ivan Delgado (6-0-1, 2 Kos) and Puerto Rico’s Angel Albelo (4-8-3) put on a good show for the fans with their willingness to give and take. Delgado eventually found the range in the last four rounds and pulled away with more effectiveness.
Brooklyn’s Zach Ochoa (12-0, 5 Kos) walked into a West Coast arena for the first time in his pro career knowing he had the speed advantage but Oxnard’s David Rodela (17-11-4) showed his experience and ability in their eight round welterweight tumble. The match went the entire eight rounds with Ochoa speed proving the difference on all three score cards 79-73.
L.A. fighter Nick Arce (4-0, 4 Kos) poured on the punches against San Antonio’s Ricardo Alvarado (7-7, 6 KOs) in the second round. And when a left uppercut and two more blows connected, referee Wayne Hegdepeth stopped the fight at 1:20 to the surprise and anger of the crowd. Fans booed the early stoppage and cheered Alvarado.
“I was ready to fight. I had prepared for this moment but you got to respect the referee’s decision,” Arce said. “The guy wasn’t throwing back so the referee decided to stop the fight. He is the third man in the ring and you have to do what he tells you to keep this sport safe.”