Mauricio Herrera, Hank Lundy to fight in main event at Sports Arena

Mauricio Herrera, Hank Lundy to fight in main event at Sports Arena
Unified Super Lightweight World Champion Danny "Swift" Garcia, left, and Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera talk to each other after finishing their super lightweight boxing match at the Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum in Bayamon, Puerto Rico on March 15, 2014. Herrera will fight against Hank Lundy on Saturday in the last boxing match at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. (Ricardo Arduengo / AP)

The Los Angeles Sports Arena is running out of time. On Saturday night, it hosts two boxers also battling to stave off age and bad luck.

Mauricio Herrera (21-5-0, 7 knockouts) has lost two of his last four bouts. Hank Lundy (25-4-1, 12 KOs) has dropped three of his last six. In what may be the last fight at the 56-year-old arena, the two will square off in the main event, a 10-round bout for the vacant North American Boxing Federation super lightweight title.


Herrera, 35, and Lundy, 31, both need a win Saturday to reestablish themselves as title contenders.

"Both of us, we've had it rough. So I think this fight's perfect. We're perfectly made for each other," Herrera said.

"This is what boxing needs," Lundy said. "We got two hungry warriors ready to get in there and give you a show."

Lundy, a Philadelphia native, has never fought on the West Coast. In his last fight against Thomas Dulorme, Lundy came out on the wrong end of a split decision.

However, Lundy and his trainer, Jose Torres, said he has not always had a full training camp to prepare for his fights, unlike this bout. There was one potential distraction, though. Lundy got married last Sunday. However, Lundy said he ran seven miles on his wedding day and put off a honeymoon until after this fight.

Meanwhile, Herrera, who is from Riverside, has had a rough year.

In December, Herrera lost a unanimous decision to Jose Benavidez in a World Boxing Assn. interim super lightweight title bout. And in March 2014, he lost a controversial majority decision to undefeated Danny Garcia in a WBA/WBC super lightweight title bout.

The loss to Garcia remained in Herrera's mind throughout training for the upcoming bout, he said.

"In Philly, Lundy's hometown," he said, "they know I beat Danny Garcia. And they're going to know I beat Lundy as well. … I will win July 11. Mark my words. I'm going to come out as champion, and then they can close the arena after that."

Saturday's fight card is the final sports event scheduled at the Sports Arena, which will soon be demolished to make way for the soccer stadium of the Los Angeles Football Club.

The arena's first event, in 1959, was a boxing match, and over the years fighters such as Muhammad Ali, when he was known as Cassius Clay; Evander Holyfield; Roberto Duran; and Meldrick Taylor fought there.

Herrera's promoter, former champion Oscar De La Hoya, has publicized the event as a last hurrah for the arena, including a free street festival, starting at 1 p.m.

De La Hoya never fought in the arena, but he has filled Saturday's card with local boxers. All but one of the seven bouts on the undercard will feature a fighter from Southern California.

In the co-main event, Michael Perez (22-1-2, 10 KOs) will face off against Luis Sanchez (17-3-1, 5 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight bout. Other bouts include Joseph Diaz Jr. (16-0, 10 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight fight against Nicaraguan Rene Alvarado (22-4, 15 KOs).


HBO Latino will televise three bouts on the card. Gates open at 4 p.m., with the first bout beginning at 4:05 p.m. The main event is scheduled for 8:45 p.m.

Twitter: @GregHadley9