- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Junior welterweight Karim Mayfield is unbeaten, but also has been inactive.
The San Francisco fighter boxed only once in 2013, knocking out a journeyman opponent. But in the fight before that, Mayfield clearly outpointed Mauricio Herrera in October 2012. That win looks pretty darn good now, considering that Herrera gave 140-pound champion Danny Garcia such a hard fight on March 15 and lost a controversial majority decision.
"I thought Herrera pulled off the victory against Garcia because he landed more punches and was the aggressor for most of the fight,” Mayfield said. “The fact that I dominated Herrera and he got the world title opportunity means there's something wrong. I've been calling Danny Garcia out for the last couple of years, but he's been running from me because I put it on him when he brought me in camp. I'll beat the breaks off Garcia if we ever fight. First I have to take care of [Thomas] Dulorme, and that is where my 100 percent focus is right now."
Mayfield’s victory against Herrera ranks as the best of his career on second look and now he is shooting for another big win when he meets Dulorme (20-1, 18 KOs), 24, of Puerto Rico, on Saturday night (HBO, 10 ET/PT) at the Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
The fight is the co-feature with light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KOs) making his second defense against Cedric Agnew (26-0, 13 KOs).
"I'm very excited to be fighting on HBO again. This is a big opportunity to prove I'm one of the top fighters in the division,” Mayfield said. “This is the type of fight the fans are seeking, two guys at the top of their game who are hungry to prove their great.”
The Dulorme-Mayfield winner is a top candidate to land a June 14 shot at junior welterweight titlist Ruslan Provodnikov. Mayfield (18-0-1, 11 KOs) believes he can score a knockout against Dulorme, who was stopped in his only loss.
"Dulorme is a technical guy with a long jab who has some fast hands,” said Mayfield, 33. “He's nothing special though. I've seen him get knocked out before so I know his chin is suspect. I've fought guys who are long and rangy just like him, so I'm confident in my ability to land some powerful shots. If I touch that chin of his, there's no doubt, he's getting knocked out. ... [Trainer Virgil Hunter] has got me working on some new punches that I'll display against Dulorme.”