New WBA Champion Mauricio Herrera - I Graduated Tonight

In the opening bout of the PPV, Mauricio Herrera defeated defending WBA Interim Super Lightweight World Champion Johan Perez by majority decision (114-114, 116-112 twice).

 

The early rounds were close, but the crafty Herrera (21-4, 7 KOs) pulled away after the sixth, pocketing rounds and landing power shots with ease. Herrera's strong right hand and defensive sharpness was the difference against Perez (19-2-1, 13 KOs), who continually ate punches and couldn't block Herrera's slick combos.  

 

No stranger to close decisions, Herrera was also the more effective fighter, having thrown and landed more power, jabs and total shots.

 

"It was difficult at first because he had a very awkward style," Herrera said. "It took me a minute to figure it out and he was making me miss a lot of shots at first. But once I relaxed and adjusted to the awkward style I was able to get into rhythm, take control of the fight and put more pressure on him. I felt like I was a hungrier fighter here tonight and that's why I pulled away with the victory.

 

"I graduated tonight - graduated to the next level."

 

Perez, who raised his hands after the bell rang in the 12th, took issue with the judges' decision.

 

"I felt that Mauricio had a difficult style and that it was a close fight," Perez said. "Ultimately, I felt that I won the fight. I am really surprised by the decision and I want an immediate rematch."

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