Mike Alvarado and Mauricio Herrera were expected by many to steal the show tonight on the Top Rank PPV. But I don't know that anyone expected a legitimate Fight of the Year contender, which is exactly what we got.
Alvarado outpointed Herrera over 10 truly grueling rounds, winning on scores of 96-94, 97-93, and 99-91, which was an awful, truly absurd card from judge Robert Hoyle. Bad Left Hook scored it 96-94 for Alvarado.
Alvarado (33-0, 23 KO) was able to win the fight thanks to his harder, more physical power punching, and he closed the left eye of the incredibly tough and game Herrera (18-2, 7 KO) by the late rounds. But it seemed like every time Alvarado had gained an advantage, Herrera just came back with constant activity and nice combination punching, often off the ropes.
Alvarado now likely moves on to a bigger fight, perhaps a title shot, or perhaps a bout with Brandon Rios. If Juan Manuel Marquez and Brandon Rios both win tonight, they may fight in July. But if they don't fight in July, Alvarado seems a likely opponent for Rios, which could be a true tear-up of epic proportions.
Herrera may step back to the Friday Night Fights level with the loss, but he certainly proved himself capable, beyond tough, and a fighter worth tuning in to see, no matter where he's fighting.
Hats off to both men for a fabulous fight.
Brandon Rios faces Richard Abril in the next bout from Las Vegas, followed by Juan Manuel Marquez vs Serhiy Fedchenko from Mexico City, so join our live thread.