Having come up on the wrong end of multiple controversial decisions in the past, junior welterweight contender Mauricio Herrera is ready to take matters into his own hands.
The Southern California native expects to be the aggressor when he faces "Hammerin'" Hank Lundy (25-4-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-round bout on Saturday at the Los Angeles Sports Arena (11 p.m. ET/PT, HBO Latino).
Herrera (21-5, 7 KOs) believes a victory would put him back into the title conversation after most believed he deserved the nod in recent defeats against Danny Garcia and Jose Benavidez.
Making a recent appearance on ESPN.com's Making The Rounds, Herrera spoke about how he believes the fight against Lundy will play out.
How do you view this opportunity against Lundy?
I think it's a big opportunity and almost as big as a world title fight to me. I think I have a lot to prove still and I have a lot of fans and people who don't know me that I want to make fans. So this is a big night for me and I hope it's spectacular.
Lundy was recently quoted as saying, "I'm still Mr. Excitement. I'm still Mr. ESPN." If you can get past his brash exterior, what challenges does he pose in the ring?
I don't know. On the outside he may look tricky and tough with speed. He has good footwork as a southpaw. The guy has everything. But I've seen some of those guys in the past and sometimes you go in there and they are the easiest guys to fight. So I won't know until I get in there. I'm good at adjusting in there and I think Hank Lundy in there will have some problems with me as well. It won't be an easy night for him.
You've become known more for your hard-luck defeats in recent years than some of your biggest wins. What is it about you as a fighter that has led to you being involved in so many controversial decisions?
That's the dirty part of boxing and I guess that's what it comes with. There are a lot of fighters that seem to be going through the same thing. Even the old school fighters that had 200 fights, I'm sure that they had some political losses on their record as well. I'm still hungry and I don't let that get to me. I have a big family, big support and it's all positive. I just have to stay like that and I can't let it get to me. I need to keep proving myself.
In your highest-profile bout to date you kept junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia constantly off balance with your awkward rhythm. How would you describe your fighting style?
I think it's just all over the place and hard to describe. The way Danny sees it, it just baffled him. He was confused. I don't think he even knew what style I had. I think that's what gives most of these conventional fighters problems because I don't have a big amateur background so I do come a little awkward. So they are not used to that and I think that's my biggest advantage. But not only that, I use the basics, which is my jab. A lot of them can't even get past that.
You are 35 but most people don't realize you didn't turn pro until 27. How much was that late start either a blessing or a curse?
I can't complain. I got signed by a big promotional company Golden Boy. I started at 27 and was deciding whether or not to even go for it at the time, and I'm glad I did. I had my ups and downs. I have been pro almost eight years right now. I can say that I fought for a world title but I got robbed. It has been bittersweet but it's boxing, you know? I just think of the good that has been going on in my career and I just flow with that. I have no regrets for my career. I'm happy where I am at.
Paint a picture for us as to how this fight will ultimately unfold?
I think this is the perfect fight for the fans. If you like boxing I think you are going to see some boxing. If you like brawling you are going to see brawling and you are going to see me mentally break down Hank Lundy and maybe get a stoppage. So it's going to be a spectacular night, an exciting night and I can't wait to prove myself and show everyone who "El Maestro" really is and I can go out there and be the aggressive guy and put on a great show.