Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs) officially defeated Herrera (20-3, 7 KOs) by scores of 116-112, 116-112 and 114-114.
In a bout that frequently featured spirited exchanges, Herrera’s awkward style and sneaky jab caused Garcia to struggle.
However, “Swift Danny” landed harder punches and Herrera’s feathery fists ultimately handcuffed the challenger.
“He is a crafty veteran and I know every time I step in the ring, every fighter wants what I have. So I expect them to bring everything,” said Garcia, 25, who has trumped solid prizefighters Erik Morales, Amir Khan, Zab Judah and Lucas Matthysse.
“I wanted to knock him out in front of my fans but he was tough. I know nothing is going to be easy from this point on for the rest of my career. I thought I won the fight. The Puerto Rican fans here support me. I love them.”
Somewhat understandably, Herrera thought he did enough to unseat the titlist.
“I came perfectly prepared for this fight. I was trying to push the fight,” said Herrera, 33, an elite counterpuncher who universally outscored badass Russian Ruslan Provodnikov in January 2011.
“I came to box but he wasn’t making a fight so I am the one that had to make the fight. I was the one putting the pressure on to make the fight. I feel like I won the fight. I thought I finished strong at the end too. I thought I won the fight.”
Garcia certainly underperformed and failed to impress versus Mauricio Herrera.
Regardless, Danny Garcia “won the fight” and remains an unbeaten titleholder.