INDIO, Ca.-Heartbreak always seems to follow Riverside’s Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera who lost a split decision against Mexico’s Pablo Cano on Friday.
Despite multiple low blows including two point deductions Cano (30-5-1, 21 KOs) was deemed the winner by two judges in front of a split-partisan crowd at Fantasy Springs Casino. Herrera (22-7, 7 KOs) once again was on the wrong side of a disputed decision.
It was the second consecutive loss for Herrera who just can’t seem to gain the judges favor. This time the always aggressive Cano attacked from the first round with a machine-like attack that had the Riverside boxer on full defensive mode.
Herrera weathered the storm.
In the second round Herrera began pumping out that jab that made him an elite fighter. He was connecting and Cano tried timing the jab with his right but not with a lot of success.
Cano decided the best strategy was an even more aggressive attack and came out winging shots. Though most missed the mark, he did connect with a right and had Herrera backing up and tightening up the guard.
Once again Herrera led with the jabs and combinations in the next round. The Riverside fighter who had fought numerous wars against several of the best junior welterweights in the world stormed out and met Cano toe to toe. The Mexican fighter blasted several punches below the belt and received a warning. He had been hitting below the belt from the first round. But now he seemed even more aggressively locating the body and was landing several inches below the belt. Finally, the referee stopped the fight and deducted a point from Cano. Herrera out-punched Cano till the end of the round.
From the fourth round on Herrera fought the style he preferred in the middle of the ring while shooting that accurate jab. The Riverside prizefighter was fighting on all cylinders and seemed to pull ahead for the next three rounds. In the eighth round Cano delivered a crunching blow well below the belt and another point was deducted.
It seemed that Herrera was guaranteed a win after two points were deducted from Cano who fired at least a dozen blows well below the belt. Cano was actually lucky that referee Ray Corona did not disqualify him for the numerous low blows. Very lucky.
After 10 rounds it looked like Herrera would gain the win by decision especially after the two point deductions. One judge scored it 95-93 for Herrera, but two judges scored it 97-91 for Cano.
Yet another heartbreaking loss for Herrera.
“Cano had a length that we were not expecting,” Herrera said. “We had similar fighting styles, and we have a similar career trajectory. I could have done more to get in and break him down, but his reach really prevented me from doing that. He’s a great fighter, and I wish him the best.”
Cano was hoping his game strategy was successful.
“He had a distinct style that I had to adjust to,” Cano said. “I am satisfied with the result, and this is exactly what we wanted to get the next big fight. My team has been training for years, and we have come together cohesively to pull off this fight.”
KeAndre Gibson (16-0-1, 7 KOs) out-hustled Mexico’s Mahonri Montes (30-6-1, 20 KOs) and won by unanimous decision after eight rounds in a welterweight bout.
Morgan Fitch (18-0-1, 8 KOs) defeated Travis Scott (19-2, 5 KOs) by majority decision after a six-round super middleweight clash.
Oscar Duarte (8-0-1, 4 KOs) knocked out Rony Alvarado (9-9, 5 KOs) at 1:13 of the fifth round in their lightweight match. Duarte’s manager is soap opera actor Gabriel Soto.
Cesar Diaz (3-0) won by technical knockout of Jose Naranjo (3-5-1) at the end of the second round in their super bantamweight contest.
Joshua Franco (8-0, 4 KOs) defeated Felipe Rivas (19-17-4) by unanimous decision after four rounds.
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