On ESPN2 Friday night, the first major televised fights of the 2011 calendar year were held, and they brought some interesting results. Russian prospect Ruslan Provodnikov saw a fight that could have been his go in the other direction, while young Olympian Demetrius Andrade continued to dominate against his early competition.
Demetrius Andrade improved to a perfect (12-0, 8KO’s) scoring a dominate eight round decision over tough as nails Alberto Herrera (7-2-1, 5KO’s) at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, NV. The bout, promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Banner Promotions, kicked off ESPN’s 2011 “Friday Night Fight” series.
Andrade, the 2007 Amateur World Champion and 2008 U.S. Olympian showed why many consider him to be one the top prospect in all of boxing, as he used superior speed, power, and all around boxing ability to completely outclass an extremely game Herrera from the opening bell. Andrade landed a number of huge left hands behind a piston like jab that kept Herrera off balance all night long. Two judges scored the bout 80-72 for Andrade with the third scoring the bout 79-73.
Andrade, who is looking to have a huge breakout year in 2011, is scheduled to be back in action in February.
In the Provodnikov vs. Herrera bout, Mauricio Herrera showed great fighting spirit and will by continuing to battle on with swollen eyes and cuts severe enough that the referees and doctors were nearly constantly inspecting him to see if he could continue on.
But he didn’t let that deter him, and instead, continued to time his punches well, keep up his work rate, and take Provodnikov out of his game. The result was a somewhat surprising UD win for Herrera, and Provodnikov’s first loss, despite the ESPN2 scorecard from Teddy Atlas showing that Provodnikov won 116-112.
Yes, he landed the harder shots and arguably did more damage, but perhaps Herrera was in control of more of the action, and was dictating the way the fight played out. But either way, a close and hard fought contest on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights, and a good start to the year in boxing.