Putting a heartbreaking loss to junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia behind him, Mauricio Herrera (21-4, 7 KOs) scored a hard-fought majority decision over Johan Perez (19-2, 13 KOs) at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
One judge scored the fight a 114-114 draw but two others had Herrera the winner 116-112.
Maxboxing.com had Herrera winning 116-112.
Herrera, 34, was the aggressor early. He worked his jab and walked Perez down. An overhand right landed.
Perez, 31, the taller fighter by two inches, had problems finding the chin of Herrera.
Herrera countered the lanky Perez with a combination. His strong jab continued to setup up his other punches. Perez finally found some success with inside uppercuts.
Perez did better in round four. Herrera rallied back in the last minute of the stanza with solid shots to the head and body. Herrera tried to sucker Perez in rounds five and six. His punches were landing more solidly, but Perez was finding moments of success.
The fighters traded solid shots in rounds seven and eight. Herrera used his jab as a range finder--while Perez backed him into the ropes and unloaded. Herrera was still connecting with the cleaner punches. He staggered Perez with a short right.
A Herrera body shot backed Perez into the ropes in round nine. The crafty Herrera clipped the chin of Perez with lefts and rights. Perez was running out of gas. Herrera’s consistency and defensive prowess was winning him the fight.
In rounds 11 and 12, both fighters landed sharp punches. Perez switched to southpaw and nailed Herrera with a left. Herrera connected with a crisp combination. Perez battled back, but it was Herrera who again had a slight edge at the bell.