Dejan Zlaticanin vs. Hevinson Herrera on Dec.14
By Tim Royner: Former WBC lightweight world champion Dejan Zlaticanin (22-1, 15 KOs) will be fighting next month on December 14 against Hevinson Herrera (22-13-1, 16 KOs) in a 10 round fight at the BB King Club & Grill in New York.
The fight will take place in the light welterweight division at 139 lbs. At 5’4”, Zlaticanin might be a little too small for him to compete against the best fighters in the 140 lb. division. For Zlaticanin’s sake, he needs to make sure he goes back down to 135 after he gets done with his fight with Herrera, because he’s too small for the 140 lb. division.
Zlaticanin, 33, will have been out of the ring for 11 months by the time he fights next month against Herrera. Zlaticanin was knocked out in the 3rd round while making a title defense against Mikey Garcia on January 28 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. That was a real mismatch.
Zlaticanin had the wrong style for him to be effective against a guy as talented as Mikey Garcia. There’s a right way and a wrong way to fight Mikey, and Zlaticanin definitely picked the wrong way of doing it by trying to slug it out.
Zlaticanin won the vacant WBC Word lightweight title last year in stopping Franklin Mamani in the 3rd round on June 11. Zlaticanin wasn’t able to really capitalize on being the WBC lightweight champion, since he only held onto the belt for 7 months before losing his title to Mikey Garcia last January.
“He got caught flush and a little time off was good for him,” Zlaticanin’s promoter Lou DiBella said to ESPN. “He’s not going in against King Kong. I want him to get back in the ring and feel good, and to get in a few rounds and shake it off. He fought a great fighter that night and got caught. Bang! It happens,” said Dibella.
It wasn’t just a one shot thing in Zlaticanin losing to Mikey Garcia. he was getting dominated through the fight. Mikey was just way too good for him. If Dibella believes that it was just a freak thing for Zlaticanin to have gotten knocked out by Garcia, then he could wind up sadly mistaken when he suffers another knockout in the future. That’s probably not going to happen against the journeyman Herrera on December 14, since that fight is a showcase fight meant to make sure Zlaticanin gets a sure thing win.
“I think there will be big fights for him at 135 and 140 pounds if he comes back strong,” said Dibella. ”This one is to end the year on a positive note and come back next year and get back into the mix quickly. There’s going to be a lot of action 135 and 140 and he’s the kind of guy who can stay at 135 or do the right fight at 140.”
Herrera has been losing a lot of his fights lately. It’s unlikely that Herrera will be a problem for Zlaticanin, but you never know. If Zlaticanin’s punch resistance has taken a hit due to his bad knockout loss to Garcia, then he could very well get stopped by Herrera as well.