It was a strange night to be sure. And in boxing that is really saying something.
I’ve been watching and scoring fights for 35 years. There is nothing saying I’m perfect or that I’m always right, but I know how to score a fight. It is not a difficult assignment.
What was supposed to be a showcase and triumphant homecoming for 140-pound champion Danny Garcia's father - turned into a struggle for survival as Garcia (the son) was lucky to have retained his titles against the unheralded Herrera in Bayamon, Puerto Rico before 10,100 at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez.
Now living in Philadelphia, Garcia’s father was born and raised on the island and he has always wanted his son to fight there. The Showtime network and his son's promoter, Golden Boy Promotions made that wish happen and they even selected an opponent in Herrera who was perceived to be safe, yet competitive. It turns out Herrera was not that safe and he was a little too competitive.
In my humble opinion, Garcia was extremely fortunate to have gotten the decision victory as I had it 115-113 for Herrera. The official scores of the judges were two votes of 116-112 for Garcia and one of 114-114.
ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael scored it 114-114 as did Tim Smith scoring for the Ring magazine. Secondsout.com writer Derek Bonnett had it 116-112 for Herrera. Long-time boxing dean Nigel Collins, tweeted, “A bad decision is never a good thing. Herrera beat Garcia 116-114 on my card.” Tim Starks of the Queensberryrules.com had it 115-113 Herrera. Al Bernstein and Paulie Maliganggi had it 116-113 for Herrera. Steve Farhood had the tally 116-112 for Herrera as did Michael Woods of the Sweetscience.com. Former champ turned broadcaster Raul Marquez, also had it for Herrera by what he tweeted was “2 points.”
After the fight, a bloodied and scraped up Garcia tweeted, “Wasn't my best performance .. I'll be better next time. A win is a win. Thank you to all my fans who supported me.”
A classy Herrera said afterwards that he felt as though he did enough for the win. “I thought I was fine-tuned, I came perfectly prepared for this fight. I was trying to push the fight. I came to box but he wasn’t making a fight so I'm the one that had to make the fight. I was the one putting the pressure on to make the fight and I feel like I won the fight. I thought I finished strong at the end, too. I thought I won the fight.” Herrera later Tweeted, “I just want to thank everyone that supported me in this fight, I will continue to work hard!"
It was too bad for Herrera. He came into Garcia's father's backyard, took the fight to his son, landed more punches overall and was still deemed a loser by the official judges.
Paulie Malignaggi called the scoring of the fight “A shame.”
And that is the one thing upon which I think we can all agree.
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