Karim Mayfield homecoming fight derailed

If there was any uncertainty as to whether rising junior welterweight star Karim Mayfield would fight on Aug. 17, it has just been confirmed: He won’t.

After a back injury forced Mauricio Herrera to drop out of their scheduled bout at the Kezar Pavilion here in Mayfield’s hometown of San Francisco, injury has befallen Mayfield himself – forcing him to drop out of the fight as well.

The fight was expected to headline the season finale of ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” in two weeks.

Now, Quebec’s Adonis Stevenson and Chicago’s Donovan George will headline the telecast, which George’s co-promoter, Leon Margules, said will most likely take place in Miami, Okla.

The winner will become the mandatory challenger for International Boxing Federation super middleweight champion Carl Froch.

The 31-year-old Mayfield (16-0-1, 10 KO) is nicknamed “Hard Hitta” because of his devastating punching power.

He said a friend’s daughter gave him the nickname after he dropped an opponent several times during a fight:

“… when I got out of the ring she said, ‘Man, you got one hitter-quitters.’ And I’m like ‘OK.’ She was like you are a ‘hard hitta.’”

Mayfield is the North American Boxing Organization junior welterweight champion, defeating Patrick Lopez via unanimous decision to win the vacant title last October.

The Fillmore native further solidified his “Hard Hitta” status on May 18 by dropping Raymond Serrano face-first with a blistering overhand right at the end of the fourth round.

He credits his left jab for setting up the knockdown:

“I threw a faint jab out there. It looked like I was coming with a hook. I changed the dynamics of my punch.”

Mayfield finished the job 47 seconds into the fifth to successfully retain his title.

Mayfield also has a 10th round TKO win over former world champion Steve Forbes, and has even sparred with future hall-of-famer Manny Pacquiao, which he says has helped him get to where he is today:

“I guess there was a lot of people speaking of me – about this kid doing good against Pacquiao – and I began to get a lot of offers after the Pacquiao sparring, so that just gave me a lot of exposure … After that, I just capitalized on everything else.”