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Herrera vs. Lundy – Herrera Emerges as NABF Super Lightweight Champion

Los Angeles, CA – In what would be the last scheduled fight to be held at the Los Angeles Sports Arena and Coliseum, where many warriors have come before to forge, or be denied, their destiny. There was an East Coast vs West Coast final bout between Riverside, California’s very own Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (22-5, 7 KO’s) and Philadelphia, PA native Henry “Hammering Hank” Lundy (25-5-1, 12 KO’s) for the vacant NABF Super Lightweight Title at 140 lbs.

Herrera was looking for some good karma to come his way after a controversial and debatable Majority Decision loss to the undefeated Danny Garcia in March of 2014, and another controversial Unanimous Decision loss to the Undefeated Jose Benavidez for the WBA Interim Super Lightweight Title in December of that same year. In both fights, the fans could clearly see Herrera as the winner, but the judges did not.

Lundy was fighting for position with Herrera for that same good Karma to hit him instead. He was determined to show the boxing world that he belongs at the top and to avenge his Split Decision loss to Thomas Dulorme in December of 2014, by sticking to his game plan this time. Something he admitted he did not do during the bout with Dulorme, which cost him the win and the vacant NABO Super Lightweight title.  Entering the ring, Lundy came out in homage to Roger Mayweather, wearing a red “Charro” Sombrero. Lundy wore this gear for the first time in this same arena when he was known as “The Mexican Assassin”, and made it a staple of his regalia every time he faced a Mexican Fighter. Coming out to a crowd full of Latino’s brought on a hail of boo’s.

Both fighters came out in spectacular fashion. As expected, they both came to fight. Problems did start out early, as Herrera and Lundy have both proven that they can fight in both Orthodox and Southpaw stances. Herrera came out Orthodox, and Lundy came out Southpaw, causing several accidental head-butts’ with both fighters having the same flight path and walking right into each other, bringing blood down into Herrera’s eyes which would prove hard to fight through in later rounds. There were accidental head-butts’ in the first, second, and third rounds. Herrera started to find his rhythm in this fight, but unfortunately it was already too late. The damage to his eye had been done.

Herrera was clearly frustrated by his loss of sight (as he kept pawing at the cut) and Lundy’s speed, stopping many times in the middle of the ring to shout at Lundy to “come and fight”, and Lundy was more than happy to accommodate. Both fighters were swinging for the fences, tossing out power shot after power shot, with very few jabs in between. The fight was finally stopped in the 5th round due to profuse bleeding from over his right eye by referee Jack Reiss at 2:09 under the advice of the ringside doctor who was concerned about the deep and wide cut.  According to the Unified Rules of Boxing, if an accidental foul causes an injury severe enough for the referee to stop the bout after four completed rounds, the bout will result in a technical decision awarded to the boxer who is ahead on the scorecards at the time of the stoppage.

Two score cards had it through the 4th round with 48-47 in favor of Herrera, by Judges Fernando Villareal and Eddie Hernandez, and a 48-48 tie by Judge Zachary Young, giving Herrera the split decision win and the vacant NABF title.

After the fight Herrera stated: “He stung me in the first round and I kind of lost focus. I started finding my momentum as the rounds went on. But, the issue with the cut really made the fight lose its rhythm and momentum. I can’t see how deep the cut is but I feel physically fine and could have kept going. I am in good condition and was landing good body shots and was wearing him down.”

To which Lundy responded: “You saw it. He couldn’t handle my speed, my power or my skills so he was holding and doing a bunch of other dirty stuff. I know I won the fight. And, I was ready to take him out if it kept going.”

Other winners that night, from the Golden Boy press release:

In the co-main event of the night, Newark, New Jersey’s Michael “The Artist” Perez (23-1-2, 11 KOs) faced Luis Sanchez (17-4-1 5 KOs) of Cancun, Mexico in a scheduled 10-round vacant NABO lightweight title fight.  The bout started out as a chess match, both fighters sizing each other up and testing each other’s strength and endurance. The fight became exciting however when Perez landed a stiff shot to the body in the sixth round which brought Sanchez to his knees and stumbling towards the ropes.  Perez earned the win by knockout.

“It started out with my jab,” said Perez. “It is something we have been working on and it is really effective. Some say it is almost as effective as my straight right. I am glad the work I put in showed. I knew I would drop him at some point.”

“I feel like the fight was okay,” said Sanchez. “It wasn’t my best. It is not the weight that I normally fight at but I know that isn’t an excuse. Yes, he dropped me that last time but I was fine. When the referee asked me my name, I answered him. I feel he called it off too early.”

In the first televised bout of the night, South El Monte, California’s Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr. (17-0, 10 KOs) faced Rene Alvarado (22-5, 15 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua in scheduled a 10-round featherweight bout.  While Alvarado delivered a steady stream of punches and dominated Diaz’s space throughout the bout, Diaz delivered sharp decisive blows with accuracy that ultimately gave him the advantage over Alvarado.  A fatigued Diaz fought hard to stay in the fight in round ten as Alvarado knocked him to the ground but undeterred, Diaz bounced back to end strong and win the bout in a unanimous decision.

“I felt great,” said Joseph Diaz Jr. “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.”

“I think it was an exciting fight, a fight for the people,” commented Alvarado. “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. This fight should have been for Nicaragua.”

The crowd went wild as Los Angeles’ very own Nick Arce  (4-0, 4 KOs) took to the ring against Ricardo Alvarado (7-7, 6 KOs) of McAllen, Texas in a scheduled four-round super featherweight fight. Arce came on strong in round one with solid combos and several uppercuts that had the local crowd on their feet.  The second round however was cut short as Arce took Alvarado to the ropes with a series of unanswered blows leading the referee to call an early stoppage that earned Arce a technical knockout just 1 minute and 35 seconds into the round, leaving Arce’s undefeated record intact.

“I was ready to fight. I had prepared for this moment but you got to respect the referee’s decision. 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.”

Fan favorite Jason Quigley (7-0, 6 KOs) of Donegal, Ireland took on Tom Howard (8-4, 4 KOs) of Trenton, Michigan in a scheduled six-round super middleweight fight. Quigley dominated the quick fight with unforgiving body blows and decisive jabs to the head that left Howard on the ropes early.  Quigley wins the bout decisively with a knockout in the second round.

“I always prepare to go to the scorecards at every fight,” said Quigley. “But, once I see a weakness and an opportunity, I have to take him out. Boxing is one of those sports where there are no second chances. No do-overs. You just have to take that chance. And, it’s a good feeling to know that you can change the course of a fight with one shot.”

Ivan Delgado (6-0-1, 2 KOs) of Los Angeles, California faced Manati, Puerto Rico’s Angel Albelo (4-8-3, 1 KOs) in a scheduled six-round lightweight fight.  Delgado and Abelo gave the crowd an exciting flight.  Neither willing to relent, the two consistently delivered powerful combinations, each answering back the other assaults. Though a brief delay in fight occurred due to a necessary ring repairs, the fighters’ momentum wasn’t lost.  Delgado finished out the bout strong continuing to deliver decisive combos that ultimately won the match for him in unanimous decision.

“This fighter was a challenge for me mentally,” said Delgado.” He kept moving around too much and I was preparing for a brawler. I had to focus and not get frustrated. I am happy I got the decision but I wish I would have gotten the knockdown.”

Opening up the night, Zachary Ochoa (12-0, 5 KOs) of Brooklyn, NY went up against David Rodela (17-11, 7KO) of Oxnard, California in an eight-round welterweight fight.  Ochoa came out on the offense early delivering consistent face blows to Rodela, even drawing blood in the fifth round.  Rodela however fought back hard with well-placed power combos to the body but ultimately wasn’t able to combat against Ochoa’s speed. Ochoa takes home the win in a unanimous decision.

Herrera vs Lundy was a 10-round super lightweight bout for the vacant NABF title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with CES Boxing. Perez vs. Sachance was presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Cancun Boxing De Pepe Gomez. The event was sponsored by Corona Extra and Mexico – Live It To Believe It!. Doors opened at 4:00 p.m., and the first bell rang at 5:15 p.m. The HBO Latino Boxing telecast began at 11:00 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT)

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