Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Herrera-Kim headlines FNF card
By Bernardo Pilatti
Mauricio Herrera and Ji-Hoon Kim will meet in a 10-round junior welterweight fight on Thursday at the Omega Products International in Corona, Calif., in a special edition of ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights" (10 p.m. ET).
Despite dropping his past two bouts, Herrera (18-3, 7 KOs), of Lake Elsinore, Calif., has a respectable record with resounding victories over Mike Dallas Jr., Ruslan Provodnikov, Efren Hinojosa, Cleotis Pendarvis and Jason Davis. His first defeat came in 2009 against Mike Anchondo; the others were in 2012, against Mike Alvarado and Karim Mayfield.
Meanwhile, South Korea's Kim (24-8, 18 KOs) is coming off a defeat in December against Raymundo Beltran. He lost a decision for a vacant lightweight belt against Miguel "Titere" Vazquez in August 2010, and in order to face Herrera, he is going up in weight to the 140-pound division.
On paper, this fight can be an all-out war. Herrera and Kim bring styles that complement each other thanks to their clear commitment to exchange, but with different nuances. Herrera is a hard, tough and aggressive fighter with a penchant for making fans rise from their seats. His loss against Alvarado -- the reigning junior welterweight titleholder -- in April 2012 was a fight of the year candidate. Herrera has good defense and is technically superior.
Despite being equally as overwhelming on offense, Kim's defense still needs work. Most of the time his power makes up for his defensive deficiencies. He has managed to throw more than a thousand punches in a fight. With his all-action style, Kim has earned many followers. He has won more than 56 percent of his bouts by way of knockout.
Kim tends to harass his opponents until he manages to land, using the idea that the more he throws, the better his chances become to get a stoppage. If he manages to overwhelm Herrera and land his punches, he'll win by knockout. On the other hand, the risk of him being exposed due to his defensive deficiencies grows as the fight wears on. In an elimination bout against Australia's Leonardo Zappavigna in 2010, a mistake cost him the fight in the first round.
In the co-feature, former lightweight titlist Miguel "Aguacerito" Acosta (29-6-2, 23 KOs) faces Miguel Gonzalez (20-3, 15 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Acosta won an interim lightweight title by stopping Mexican Urbano Antillon in the ninth round in 2009. Then he traveled to Namibia and finished Paulus Moses in the sixth round. He was later stopped by Brandon Rios in the third round, before easily beating Luis Cardozo in Colombia.
Acosta sought to regain his title against Cuban Richard Abril in 2011, but lost the decision. He also failed to win his previous bout, on July 20. It was a close battle that ended in a split decision against Armenian Art Hoyhannisyan. On Thursday, Acosta will go for a much-needed win that enables him to get another title opportunity.
Gonzalez, 27, of Cleveland, is a rising prospect who had a 14-bout winning streak before falling on the scorecards in his previous fight against Mike Dallas Jr. For Gonzalez, defeating Acosta also would mean an open door to a possible title fight in the near future.