By David A. Avila
Riverside’s Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera has agreed to face East L.A.’s Frankie “Pitbull” Gomez as the co-feature event on Cinco de Mayo weekend.
After weeks of delay Golden Boy Promotions found a suitable foe on Monday for Herrera in the fight card that features Saul Alvarez defending the WBC middleweight title against Amir Khan at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on May 7.
“I feel excited being he’s undefeated,” said Herrera (22-5, 7 KOs) whose last fight was technical decision win over Hank Lundy in the Sports Arena in Los Angeles last June 2015. “It will be an honor to take that zero away from him.”
Many consider Herrera the uncrowned junior welterweight world champion after his dominating performance over Danny “Swift” Garcia two years ago in Puerto Rico. Fans around the world and the HBO commentators all felt Herrera should have been declared the winner and the world champion in March 2014.
Gomez (20-0, 13 KOs) caught the eye of the boxing world when as an amateur he won the world championships held in Russia back in 2009. A bidding war commenced and the East L.A. prodigy was eventually signed by Golden Boy Promotions in 2010. So far, he’s been undefeated but has suffered problems with making weight.
Herrera was willing to make weight concessions to guarantee the match up.
“I wanted the fight at 147,” said Herrera, 35, who normally fights at 140. “They were the ones who wanted it a little under so maybe they are confident.”
For weeks Golden Boy Promotions sought a suitable foe for Herrera. Those names mentioned included Ruslan Provodnikov, Pablo Cano and Lucas Matthysse. But negotiations were unsuccessful until Monday.