I recently had a chance to speak with light welterweight contender, Mauricio Herrera during the 211th edition of “On The Ropes” to discuss his controversial decision loss to Danny Garcia. Herrera spoke in detail about the fight, the judges’ decision and possibly getting a rematch. Mauricio also talks about Garcia’s weight trouble claims and other options at the weight class if Garcia moves up. Additionally Herrera gives his thoughts on Pacquiao vs. Bradley II, and also his thoughts on Danny Garcia landing a Mayweather fight. Here is what Mauricio Herrera had to say.
Jenna J: Mauricio, you recently went over to Puerto Rico to face light welterweight champion Danny Garcia and came away with a controversial decision loss. What are your feelings now on the fight?
Mauricio Herrera: I feel really good, the people have been really positive with me, they let me know that I won. I thought we won the fight, I got to watch it on TV and I thought I did a great job, I thought I did everything I had to do to beat the champ in his home town.
Jenna: How was it going into hostile territory with the crowd against you?
Herrera: The atmosphere was intense, coming out there in that Coliseum being so packed. I never once looked up, I just stayed focus on the ring, and the entrance, and man, you could hear the boo’s just in the pit of my stomach. But I had to stay focused and just know it’s just me and Garcia up there and no one else, and I just took it to him.
Jenna: Going into the fight, did you feel that no matter what you did that you might have had things stacked against you to where it was not going to go your way no matter what?
Herrera: I thought it was going to be a tough decision. I knew I was in Puerto Rico, the hype was all about him, they never once showed a picture of me. I don’t think too many people knew about me out there, it was Garcia everywhere.
Going into the fight, I knew my style was going to be a problem for him. But Puerto Rico, the judges and it happened the way it did. Hopefully Danny gives me the opportunity to rematch.
Jenna: How likely do you think it is? That you will get a rematch?
Herrera: We don’t know, we immediately asked for a rematch and my manager has been talking with Goldenboy. They said they are going to try their best to get me the rematch with Danny. It’s all up to him at the end of the day, see what decision he makes and hopefully he shows he’s a true champion and get the people to see another fight with me and him.
If he’s going to stay at 140, he is definitely going to have to fight me again. I don’t think the people will forgive him, but if he wants to move to 147, we have to stay at 140 and start looking at other opponents
Jenna: You mentioned him possibly going up to 147, he said after the fight that the weight might have affected his performance. Do you believe that, or do you think he is just making excuses?
Herrera: I think it could be excuses, he had plenty of time to train, he knew about this date for 3-4 months. They let me know 8 weeks for this fight, and I took advantage and trained really hard for this fight. He put stuff up saying he was ready and in shape, and that they were going to blow me out in 5 rounds. All the talk was there and come after the fight, things changed; now all of a sudden he wants to move up and not be at 140.
I think they are just making excuses. I mean he’s the champ he knew the hype was on him, the whole Puerto Rico was surrounding him, why would he not come in shape? I think he was just making excuses after the fight, he did not know what hit him.
Jenna: The fight had open scoring, so after the 8th round you had an idea of where you stood. How aware were you of the scoring and did that effect you at all?
Herrera: No they told me just at the beginning that they had him up. I knew already that the fight was gonna be taken, the judges weren’t seeing what I was doing in there. I didn’t let it effect me, I thought, I’m just gonna keep focus, keep with what I’m doing. Because that can mess me up, they could tell me that and I think maybe I have to do more and then I open up more and something bad could happen in the ring.
I just had to stay smart and alert every round and know that I was winning, taking round by round. I didn’t pay attention to the judges because I know the people were seeing what I was doing. I knew that I took the crowd out and you could see it in their faces — they know they lost, I felt I won. The scoring didn’t bother me; we all felt we won the fight.
Jenna: If Danny Garcia does move up and goes a different direction, what fights do you see for yourself at 140?
Herrera: There’s a lot of fights out there at 140, I don’t even know where to start. I guess I’d pick the biggest and baddest one, Lucas Matthysse, we could possibly fight him. If Danny moves to 147 we can fight for those belts.
Later on there’s Ruslan Provodnikov out there still, we can do it again with him, he has a belt now. I think those are two big fights that we could make and I think our styles fit perfect. We can go from there, we can take one fight at a time.
Jenna: Ruslan Provodnikov has a belt now. Being the fact that the first fight was so close and some felt it was controversial, do you feel you have any unfinished business with him?
Herrera: Yeah I think we got unfinished business. I think it was a good fight, I thought I won, he admitted that I was the better man that night. If we have to do it again, I’m ready to do it again. When I first fought him after the fight they wanted a rematch right away, we thought the best thing to do is to wait for Ruslan to come up on top.
We knew that he was gonna be a champion, I called it and told my manager and said, “This guy will be a champion, why not fight him then? There’s no worth fighting twice for nothing.” Now he has something, we’re here now and it seems like everything is coming alive so hopefully I get a chance at him again and give another great performance, another great show for the people.
Jenna: There’s also Mike Alvarado out there, he’s gonna have a match with Juan Manuel Marquez. What do you think of that fight?
Herrera: Yeah it’s an interesting fight. Alvarado is a bigger guy, he blows up pretty big after the fights. I haven’t really thought about that fight too much. Marquez is a smart fighter — I haven’t even had time to really think about that with the stuff that’s been going on.
That’s an interesting fight with Alvarado and Marquez. I love Marquez, he’s a smart fighter, I would love to fight Marquez one day. Between them two, I wouldn’t know who to choose right now.
Jenna: The winner of Alvarado-Marquez is going to get the winner of Bradley-Pacquiao II. Who are you favoring in that one?
Herrera: I think Bradley is gonna outbox Pacquiao. He moves around and he’s really hard to hit. I think Pacquiao is gonna have trouble hitting Bradley. I think he’s more confident, more experienced now with the fights he has behind him. I think he knows Pacquiao a little more from the first fight.
That was Bradley’s first big fight and I think he won’t have too many nerves this time, I think he’ll adjust better and earlier. I give an edge to Bradley, but you know Pacquiao has that one punch, but I’ll go a little towards Bradley on that one.
Jenna: Floyd Mayweather Jr. is taking on Marcos Maidana. If Mayweather wins, the talk is that Danny Garcia might be next for him. Do you think Garcia would deserve that fight without facing you again?
Herrera: No, I don’t think he would deserve that fight, I think he should face me again. I think more people will respect him if he does and see him as a true champion. If he goes to fight Mayweather without fighting me, I don’t think it will hold too much being what I did to him.
I think he needs to prove himself with me and if he wasn’t in shape when he fought me, he should get in shape and prove to the people what he’s got, and finish business with me first.
Jenna: Who are some of your favorite fighters to watch in the sport?
Herrera: Oh I got so many fighters that I’ve studied and still love to watch. I go way back to a fighter named Joe Brown, ‘Mantequilla’ Napoles who had great defense, Larry Holmes who had one of the best jabs.
Bernard Hopkins, I always watch him, he has a lot of tactics. James Toney is one of the number ones that I look at all the time. I just go back in the past and just watch all these old videos, a lot of them help me out. I think I got my style just from watching them over and over.
Jenna: If you could give any message to Danny Garcia, what would you say?
Herrera: Danny Garcia, if you’re a true champion and you want to set the record straight, forget all this talking, give me another opportunity. Let’s fight again, the people loved the first fight, be a man, step up and let’s give the people what they want.