A throwback fight with punches from first bell to last, the junior welterweight clash Saturday night between Denver's Mike Alvarado and California's Mauricio Herrera pitted pure power against a tricky touch.
And after he marked up Herrera's face with a big bruise under the left eye, Alvarado — an undefeated, heavy-hitting junior welterweight contender — earned a unanimous-decision victory at the Mandalay Bay arena in Las Vegas.
Judges scored the fight 99-91, 97-93 and 96-94 in favor of Alvarado, who improved to 33-0.
"He's durable, he's tough. I could tell he trained hard," Alvarado said of Herrera. "But he didn't have the power to stop me. If I'd stepped on the gas some more, I would've stopped him."
Broadcaster Brian Kenny — after a blistering third round in which the boxers traded blows for nearly three constant minutes — said over a roar of applause from the crowd: "They're not used to seeing this in modern times."
In the end, Alvarado's power proved too much for the technically savvy Herrera. During a very active third round, Alvarado pinned Herrera against the ropes and landed a series of over- hand rights and jabs. It formed a golf ball-size swell under Herrera's left eye.
The action never stopped. Herrera kept coming and, to his credit, won several rounds with a flourish of combinations. Alvarado, though, started teeing up uppercuts in the late rounds. Both boxers looked for a knockout in a frantic 10th round.
Alvarado entered the fight ranked as high as No. 3 in the world by the WBO. His stock will likely rise even higher. And he said after the fight that he's ready for a title shot.
"I want (lightweight champ Juan Manuel) Marquez," Alvarado said. "I deserve Marquez. I've paid my dues."