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Mauricio Herrera defeats Hank Lundy in Sports Arena boxing card

Bruce Springsteen called it "the dump that jumps."

On Saturday, the Los Angeles Sports Arena leaped just a little, possibly for the last time.

The 56-year-old arena is scheduled to be demolished in the coming months, and Saturday night's boxing card, headlined by a 10-round super-lightweight matchup of former World Boxing Assn. champion Mauricio Herrera and Hank Lundy, showed why: no luxury seating, no air-conditioning and a seating bowl less than half full.

Even the ring itself showed its age. In the second fight of the night, a six-round lightweight bout between Los Angeles native Ivan Delgado and Angel Albelo, the ropes on one side snapped, causing a five-minute delay for repairs.

But the history of the place was also on display, as Golden Boy Promotions trotted out seven Los Angeles boxing legends midway through the card: heavyweights Bernard Hopkins and Henry Tillman, super-flyweights Bobby Chacon and Gabriel Ruelas, lightweight Rodolfo Gonzalez, featherweight Danny Lopez and Golden Boy founder Oscar De La Hoya.

The talent in the ring was a step below that, as Herrera (22-5, seven knockouts got a controversial majority decision victory over Lundy (25-5-1, 12 KOs) for the vacant North American Boxing Federation title.

Herrera, from Riverside, entered the bout as the favorite. Lundy, however, got under his skin early, first with a violent collision between heads in the very final seconds of the first round that left Herrera bleeding, then with a few hard connections in the second that cut him again.

In the third and fourth rounds, Herrera started to fight his way back, often waving Lundy toward him and then unleashing a head-body combination.

However, his cuts continued to bleed, forcing the fight to be stopped time and time again. Finally, with 51 seconds left in the fifth round, referee Jack Reiss ended the fight.

"Istarted finding my momentum as the rounds went on," Herrera said. "I can't see how deep the cut is, butI feelphysicallyfineand could have kept going.Iam in good condition and was landing good body shots and was wearing him down."

Undefeated Joseph Diaz Jr. had the crowd on his side against Rene Alvarado in a 10-round featherweight bout.

The South El Monte native entered with a 16-0 record and 10 knockouts, but Alvarado was regarded as his toughest fight to date.

He backed up that assessment from the bell, getting in close and throwing a high volume of punches to counter Diaz's bigger hits.

Diaz gained an edge in the middle rounds with his power punches, and even though he lost steam in the final two rounds, he held on for a unanimous decision that drew a mixed reaction from the crowd.

The co-main event of the night, which followed the Diaz-Alvarado fight, was a 10-round lightweight matchup between Michael Perez and Luiz Sanchez.

For the first five rounds, the crowd booed the fighters in an ugly fight that started slow. Perez suffered a cut above an eye and the fight had to be stopped at one point.

Then, in the sixth round, a jab to Sanchez's eye sent him stumbling to the canvas. Using the ropes he was able to pull himself up, but the referee called the bout for Perez before it could resume.

greg.hadley@latimes.com

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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