Friday Night Fights returned for 2011 last night, featuring Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (12-0, 8 KOs), who won by unanimous decision over Alberto Herrera and Ruslan Provodnikov, who was upset by the elder Herrera, Mauricio.
Andrade, who wasn’t very impressive given the hype surrounding the junior middleweight prospect, won by 79-73 and 80-72 twice. Herrera (7-2, 5 KOs) was game, but couldn’t stave off Andrade’s combination punching.
ESPN2’s Teddy Atlas remarked that Andrade needs a new trainer if he wants to go to the next level.
In the main event, the previously undefeated Provodnikov, a FNF staple, suffered a minor upset to Mauricio Herrera in a 12 round junior welterweight fight. Scores were 115-113 and 116-112 twice for Herrera.
The fight started off slow, until Provodnikov (17-1, 11 KOs) swelled up Herrera’s left eye and continued to nip at it throughout the contest.
Herrera (16-1, 7 KOs), coming off a split decision loss to Mike Anchondo, used angles and started to come on around the middle rounds, getting the best of most exchanges.
In the end, Herrera did enough to eke it out on the cards.
Both fighters did enough to return to FNF, but neither come across as legitimate prospects.
The 2011 debut of Friday Night Fights featured new graphics and a few new segments, one of which was the “MMA Minute,” a most unwelcome addition. I dislike mixed martial arts, but that’s beside the point. This is a boxing show, with boxing matches. Why integrate MMA into the show? ESPN’s Brian Kenny remarked that most fans of one sport respect the other, which is by no means true.
Also introduced, was the “Twitter Topic,” where they picked a fighter — in this case Provodnikov — and encouraged fans to tweet about said fighter. This segment was interesting. Anything that supports fan interaction is good for the sport.