“Herrera is a tricky, dangerous fight…He can take you in to deep water, but he can swim.” -Oscar De La Hoya, Herrera’s promoter
“Scoring more than 5 rounds for Benavidez is nothing short of corruption, or else unbelievable incompetence.” —Connor Ruebusch
“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” -Abraham Lincoln
I recently published my year-end boxing awards and included the Worst Decision of the Year: as Danny Garcia over Mauricio Herrera. See: http://theboxingtribune.com/2014/12/ted-the-bulls-boxing-awards-for-2014/
The undefeated Garcia was gifted in Puerto Rico on March 3 when he was awarded a decision over a badly underestimated ring general by the name of Mauricio Herrera. Two judges scored it (116-112–or eight rounds to four). These two warrant further scrutiny. “El Maestro” was robbed in plain sight. However, I was premature because another more egregious gifting occurred on December 13 and was virtually predicted by Harold Lederman and the HBO Team.
Lo and behold, this one involved the very same “El Maestro” who gave a boxing lesson to undefeated (but house fighter and favored prospect) Jose Benavidez Jr. Now punch statistics cannot tell the entire story of a fight, but in this case the crafty Herrera landed a record number of body shots, and kept the younger Benavidez on the ropes for much of the fight. El Maestro (21-5, 7 KOs) stuck with his effective game plan of using a stiff jab often to the mid-section and constantly landing impressive stuff to the body, as he outworked and outhustled Benavidez. For his part, Benavidez gave away most of the rounds by being less inactive. Herrera, according to Compubox, outlanded him in each and every category and numbers don’t lie.
When Michael Buffer prepared to announce the results, I sensed something would be coming up that would smell less than roses and I was not disappointed. Judges Max DeLuca and under-the-radar Erik Cheek had it 116-112 while Dave Moretti scored it 117-111 all for Benavidez (22-0). I had it 117-111 for Herrera. As Harold Lederman surmised before the fight, maybe ’El Maestro’s” considerable skills are something the judges are not impressed with, but when you can predict something wrong will happen and then it does, that’s not just bizarre or dubious, that something far worse.
In a sport where Mickey Rourke fights in Russia at age 62 and Shannon Briggs is “acting” like a mad man stalker, boxing sometimes can be mistaken for a freak show. This kind of scoring makes it look worse.