Mauricio Herrera vs Jose Benavidez Jr Preview Dec 13th
Mauricio Herrera will be defending his interim WBA Junior Welterweight Championship against undefeated Jose Benavidez Jr. this Saturday, December 13 when the two battle it out at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 12-round bout between the two California natives can be seen live on HBO in Canada and America while British fans can check it out on BoxNation. The 22-year-old challenger Benavidez Jr. enters the ring with a perfect record of 21-0 with 15 Kos while the 34-year-old Herrera is 21-4 and has 7 Kos to his name.
When looking at their records the first thing that jumps off the page is their Ko totals. It’s obvious that Benavidez has quite a bit more power than Herrera with 15 Kos to 7. However, Herrera is one of the toughest boxers in the division for opponents to figure out in the ring. Herrera’s four losses since turning pro in 2007 have all been by close decisions and came against Danny Garcia, Karim Mayfield, Mike Alvarado and Mike Anchondo. Some of his best wins have been over the likes of Johan Perez, Miguel Angel Huerta, Mike Dallas Jr., Ji-Hoon Kim, and Ruslan Provodnikov.
Benavidez Jr. has built up an impressive record, but hasn’t faced an elite boxer as of yet. He’ll definitely be stepping up in class on Saturday. Benavidez Jr. has been active lately and this will be his fourth and final fight of the year. His last outing came in July when he stopped Henry Aurad in the first round. He turned pro back in 2010 and has beaten boxers such as Pavel Miranda, Prince Doku Jr. and Angel Hernandez. Up until now, the toughest fighters Benavidez Jr. has faced have been Shane Mosley, Amir Khan, Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao in sparring sessions down at the Wild Card Gym.
Benavidez Jr. stands 5-feet-11-inches tall and has a reach of 73 inches while Herrera is 5-feet-7and ½ inches tall with a wingspan of 71.5 inches. Benavidez Jr. has the physical advantages, but will find that Herrera has a lot of boxing skills and is quite an elusive target when it comes to landing solid blows on him. Herrera’s biggest problem is just his lack of power and it’s often caused him to come out on the wrong end of fights that go the distance. It could be a blessing in disguise though since Herrera knows he has to win as many rounds as possible on the scorecards and he sets out to do this by letting his hands go.
Herrera has the reputation of being a defense-first boxer though who would rather counterpunch than be the aggressor. This will be a mistake if he sits around and waits to counter against his younger opponent. He needs to get off first and keep the heavy-hitting Benavidez Jr. on the back foot as much as he possibly can. He doesn’t want to get into a toe-to-toe brawl, but can’t wait for the challenger to get off first all night long.
Benavidez Jr. has the advantage in power, but the veteran Herrera possesses the finer boxing skills and also has a solid chin. If it holds up against the younger challenger then Benavidez Jr. is going to have to win his share of rounds convincingly to take the interim title. Age is on the challenger’s side, but Herrera is a crafty veteran who should be able to box his way to a decision to retain his belt.
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