ESPN’s Dan Rafael comments on Junior’s win.
Here is Junior’s post fight interview.
Mauricio Herrera W12 Ruslan Provodnikov
Scores: 116-112 (twice), 115-113
|Records: Herrera, 16-1, 7 KOs; Provodnikov, 17-1, 11 KOs|
|Rafael’s remark: In the first main event of the first card of the new season of ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights,” we already have our first upset of the year, as Herrera took the competitive decision against Provodnikov, 26, of Siberia in Russia, who was widely considered a top prospect. This is, by far, the biggest win of Herrera’s career and he earned it in a tough, grinding battle in which both men went past the 10th round for the first time and showed a lot of heart. Provodnikov did what he always does, which is to bull forward, be aggressive and work the body. He also landed lots of right hands. But Herrera took the punches and dished out his own, especially in the late rounds. They both showed they wanted it badly with the way they were fighting and the outcome looked like it was in doubt. Even when it was over it looked as though the fight could have gone either way, so Provodnikov sure was surprised when Herrera, who admitted that Provodnikov was the heavier puncher, got the nod. Provodnikov turned Herrera’s left eye black and blue in the third round and seemed to be inching ahead, but Herrera never gave in. While Herrera — whose eye was closed by the end of the fight — may not have had as much power as Provodnikov, he landed enough shots to inflict damage on his right eye later in the fight. In fact, when the fight was over, both of their faces were a mess — even though Herrera was smiling because of the victory. Herrera, 30, of Lake Elsinore, Calif., won his third in a row since a debatable split-decision loss to former junior lightweight titlist Mike Anchondo in December 2009. This was a really good fight and a nice way to kick off the FNF season.|