Temecula- Once in a while a fighter can lose a fight inside the squared circle but gain stature outside. Such was the case a few months ago when former champion, Erick Morales lost a bloody war to Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas. I believe such was the case last night when light welterweight prospect, Mike Dallas Jr lost a ten round battle to Mauricio Herrera in a very competitive and a high stakes fight at the Pechanga Resort and Casino. Coming off a loss earlier this year where Mike was manhandled and stopped by Josesito Lopez, Dallas Jr displayed a heart of the champion and ability to hold his own in the trenches.
After ten brutal and highly contested rounds that were televised by ESPN Friday Night Fights the majority decision victory was awarded to Mauricio Herrera with one judge scoring it 95-95, and two others 98-92 and 96-94 for Herrera(18-1,7KO’S). With most of the rounds very close it was the kind of fight that could be scored either way.
ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas scored it 97-93 for Dallas Jr. I didn’t. I scored the fight a draw, but what I did see is Mike Dallas Jr maturing and acting like a real fighter.
“In my heart I felt I won,” said Dallas (17-2-1,7KO’S) who suffered second consecutive defeat:” I didn’t’ leave nothing in the ring. I don’t like the decision, but all I can do is push forward, go back to the gym and become a stronger fighter.”
Faster and taller Dallas won the battle of the jabs in the first round. Herrera was pressing the action and did well on the inside, but got caught with a huge right hand to end the first. Mauricio shortened the distance in the second and pressed his advantage on the inside dominating the stanza. In a competitive third stanza Dallas Jr landed several crisp counters that electrified the crowd. Even though Dallas was effective landing counter shots in the fourth they were fighting a match inside that was favoring Herrera who was roughing up his opponent downstairs. The fighter from Bakersfield landed a few head snapping counters early in the fifth, but was trapped against the ropes and worked over by Herrera late. Maestro upped the pressure in the sixth and got hit bellow the belt twice for his trouble. Referee Jack Reise did not notice it. Herrera continued to increase the pressure and control inside action in the seventh. Mike Dallas Jr changed the momentum of the fight in the eighth stanza landing head snapping counters, one after another and backing up his opponent against the ropes at the end of the frame. Fighters went toe to toe in a very spirited and competitive ninth round. Inspired by his earlier success Dallas was giving as good as he was getting inside. With a lot riding on the line both warriors left it all in the ring in the final stanza. It was a very close and competitive round from the beginning to the end.
“I knew it was going to be an ugly fight. He was holding me all the while,” said Herrera after he had his hand raised in victory:” But I kept busy and won the fight.”
In other action:
Unbeaten bantamweight from Palmdale, California, Matt Villanueva (6-0-1,6KO’S) had a first blemish on his professional record when an accidental low blow in the third stanza rendered his opponent from Fort Morgon, Colorado, Ernie Marquez (9-8-2,3KO’S) unable to continue. The bout was declared a technical draw.
In the opening bout of the evening former US Olympian, Javier Molina(8-0,4KO’S) easily out boxed veteran from Tulare, California, Hector Alatorre (16-16,5KO’S) over six rounds . All three judges scored the welterweight contest in favor of Molina 60-54 twice and 59-54.
Undefeated fighter from Norwalk, California noticed a soft frame around his opponent’s belly and decided to incorporate a hook to the body into his offense, but despite his best efforts was not able to discourage Alatorre from coming forward.
Junior lightweight from Russia Vahe Saruhan (2-0,1KO) out boxed Oscar Santana (1-1,1KO) from Pomona, California over four rounds. All three judges scored the fight for Saruhan 40-36 twice and 39-37. He was simply too skilled for his opponent from Pomona.
In the final bout of the evening, an eight round welterweight attraction, former US Olympian, Ricardo Williams(19-2,10KO’S) outpointed Armen Ovsepyan(11-2,9KO’S) from Yerevan, Armenia by a tough fought split decision. One score 77-75 for Ovsepyan was over ruled by two others 79-73 and 77-75 in favor of Williams.
Contact Igor Frank at [email protected]