It was a very good fight with a genuinely close result, but the right man won: Mauricio Herrera topped Johan Perez by majority decision in a bout marked by numerous shifts in the dynamic.
Fighting on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez-Erislandy Lara on Showtime pay-per-view, Herrera (above left) rebounded from a disputed loss to junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia. Herrera has a knack for being in close fights, and this was another example.
He came out aggressively and won several of the early rounds, but they got closer as Perez’s speed, power and length came to bear. Herrera responded by trading more, and Perez (above right) was winning some of the exchanges, Herrera others. He would often pull out the rounds by putting on a display at the end of them, and Perez’s team wised up to this approach and told him to conserve energy early in rounds, then come on hard.
Herrera hurt Perez to the head in the 8th and to the body in the 9th, but Perez would surge again late. I scored it 115-113, and the judges had it 114-114, 116-112 and another 116-112.
Herrera now lines up for a big fight again, possibly against Adrien Broner. Good idea. Perez shouldn’t go away. He proved he belonged Saturday.