On Friday night’s season opener of ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” Riverside’s Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (16-1, 7 KOs) defeated Russia’s Ruslan Provodnikov thereby blemishing his once perfect record to (17-1,11 KOs). Herrera, whose unanimous decision win allowed him to capture the vacant IBF North American junior welterweight title, endured a swollen eye but still managed to surprise Provodnikov with his skillful combinations and constant movement.
Stated Herrera: “I thought I was winning on numbers, but he landed the harder shots. I won’t deny that.”
After 12 grueling rounds all three judges ruled it for Herrera 115-113, 116-112 twice.
Added Herrera, “It’s huge. This win is what I had dreamed about… Now, it’s upward from here.”
In the 8-round co-feature, Alberto Herrera (7-2-1, 5 KOs) unsuccessfully challenged former Olympian Demetrius Andrade (12-0, 8 KOs) whose speed and reach proved to be too much the Riverside junior middleweight. Despite Herrera’s efforts to getting inside of Andrade’s reach it was not enough to secure a win and Andrade triumphed by unanimous decision 79-73 and 80-72 twice.