Former welterweight world title challenger Mauricio Herrera spoke about a side of boxing that often isn’t talked about with Peter Moss.
Every now and again when a competitive, highly anticipated fight has come and gone, the phrase “Boxing Won” will sometimes be used to describe the event.
At face value, this phrase is simple and easily understood; the boxing fans witnessed a competitive and entertaining fight.
However, within the phrase “Boxing Wins” potentially lies a major problem.
Boxing may have won, but the fighters themselves often take heavy losses. The camps, the training, the diets, the time away etc., are all components that go into training for a fight.
With Canelo vs. Golovkin still fresh on everyone’s mind, the case for “Fighters Losing” is clearly on display. For the record, draws happen in many fights, many times warranted. On Saturday, September 16, this was not one of those cases.
This fight was no draw. Was it a competitive fight? Yes. Did both fighters fight hard? Absolutely.
As many have thought and actually voiced, corruption may or may not have played a role. While I won’t harp on “that” for the sake of this article, it did make me think of how many fighters lose when “boxing wins”, particularly in the case of Canelo vs. Golovkin.
No winner was declared, yet somehow the sport itself won. Is the criteria for boxing winning simply a competitive fight, regardless of the scoring? Should fans even be concerned about the scores if they feel boxing won?
While thinking deeply on the situation I thought of a man who has a painfully recent experience of boxing winning, but he himself losing. Mauricio Herrera came to mind.
Herrera’s bad luck is some of the worst in boxing. Herrera’s boxing year in 2014 should have been one of, if not the best year of boxing for him. He managed to knock off two red-hot fighters; one being the unified junior welterweight champion by the name of Danny Garcia.
The other, a streaking prospect by the name of Jose Benavidez. Both were undefeated at the time. I thought to myself, man, that’s gotta be tough. I began to try to think what was going on in Herrera’s mind before and after.
Luckily, I got a chance to talk to the man himself and here is what he said:
I asked Herrera to talk about his 2014 boxing-wise, and how it affected him.
What was your mindset going into that fight? Was there anything that happened to lead you to believe anything suspicious would be going on?
“No not at all. When they told me I got the deal to fight Danny I was happy. The judging was the last thing on my mind. I was happy to fight for a world title, I was going to Puerto Rico with my family and I was confident.
I had been watching Danny’s fights and I knew I had to have the right style for him, if I could avoid his power punches I knew I could win. And I did.
As far as the fight atmosphere, everything seemed to be exactly how it was suppose to be. We obviously felt like we won. That fight was actually one of the easiest fights of my career. I’ve been in some pretty tough fights in my career.
Even though it was for a world title it ended up being fairly easy. I felt pretty good after. When the bell rang to end the fight that’s when I kind of starting thinking they might rob me.
When I heard the decision I was thinking this can’t be real. I looked at my trainer and said they’re gonna give it to him. Everyone in the building knew I won, even all the Puerto Ricans started booing.
Nothing really hits you in boxing until a couple fights go by. Everywhere I go the people never stop reminding me I got robbed against Danny and it hurts man. Right now I’m feeling it. I’m not getting the fights I’m supposed to be.
My whole life changed and I’m like man that year was supposed to be one of the best years in my life. I knocked off two top guys, one being the champ but got nothing to show for it.
As time goes on you stop getting motivated to go against these champions and undefeated prospects because you know what can happen. You think “what is this all for?” You do everything right. You train your ass off, you sacrifice and then they rob you. I got robbed twice that year and I gotta say, it breaks you down a little bit.
Then without even knowing, you start falling off. I was a little depressed. I took some time off. I was out of boxing, I was overweight, and I lost the fight with Gomez. At that point I couldn’t get on track.
There was no motivation. And honestly, I didn’t think about all this until right now. Then you start to think maybe I shouldn’t care anymore. Subconsciously you start to give up, you know. You put so much into it but you don’t get anything out of it. I’ve been robbed a few times in my life.
It happened to me earlier in my career on Shobox and now it’s happening again. People only mention the Danny fight but it’s been happening to me!
What should have been a dream year for me in boxing was actually a nightmare. Right now in my career I’m finding motivation but it is a little tough.
I was motivated for the Soto Karass fight and I’m trying to carry that motivation forward. Boxing is all I know, so eventually everything always leads me back to boxing.
I plan on making another run. I want the toughest fights out there like I’ve always wanted and we’ll see what happens. I don’t know how many fights I have left in me but I’m gonna do my best and that’s good enough for me.”
The case of Herrera is one of the more extreme cases of what can happen when boxing wins. One of the best years of his boxing career was reduced to two bad decisions.
In a real sense, Herrera could have easily been a strong candidate for fighter of the year; a year that saw him knock off Danny Garcia as well as an undefeated prospect. Instead he is left to salvage what’s left of his career and be constantly reminded of how cruel the sport can be.
Next time you say boxing wins, make sure the fighters win too. At least one of them anyway.