“Every time I step in to a ring, I fight for all of El Salvador.”-Carlos Hernandez.
On May 28, 2005, “El Leon De Culican”, the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez, will headline a fight card that is promoted by Top Rank, and televised as part of Showtime’s pay-per-view boxing series. Although the card remains centered on Mexico’s most beloved fighter, the fight of the night, and a potential “fight of the year” is actually going to be part of the televised portion on the under-card. Carlos “El Famoso” Hernandez (41-4-1 with 28 KOs), takes on Jesus “El Matador” Chavez (40-3-0 with 28 KOs) in a WBC super featherweight title eliminator. It is a fight that deserves its own under-card. This writer had the privilege to speak to Hernandez via cell phone from his training camp in California, and he had this to say, “My training camp has gone great and I’m pleased. We always have had good camps, and my entire career, I have had a great time. I have not won all the fights like I wanted to, but I always try to learn from my defeats. I have applied all I have learned throughout my career and am ready for Jesus Chavez. He (Chavez) is a great guy, and I have had the privilege of meeting his family and wife. They are great people and I wish him the best.”
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In a time when fighters like James “Lights Out” Toney use a “thug” persona and test positive for steroids, it is always refreshing to meet and learn about boxers on the other side of that spectrum. Fighters that respect their opponents, never saying a negative word about anyone. They go about their business in a very quiet and dignified fashion, working hard, training harder, and giving everything they have every single time they step into that squared circle. These fighters are often underappreciated and do not make the money that they deserve. Still, they continue to toil without changing their approach. Then, one day, as if a ray of light shines down on them, they reach a status that is worth more than money. That status is adoration, love, and respect from their people.
This is something Hernandez witnessed with his own eyes after he lost the biggest fight of his career to Erik “El Terrible” Morales. “After I lost to Morales, I was very disappointed because I felt that I had let my people from El Salvador down. My people have followed me for many years in my career and we really don’t have much because El Salvador is a very poor third world country. People look up to me and really got behind me for that fight. I was so sad when I lost, but I went to El Salvador after that fight, and it was so beautiful. Older ladies came over to me and said, “you know the whole country of El Salvador were in your gloves every time you threw a punch that night.’ It was beautiful to feel the warmth and love from my people. I realized that even though I didn’t win that fight, I won it in their eyes because I stood there and gave it all. I was so honored that they built a sport complex in El Salvador and named it after me. It was truly an honor as my name will always be remembered, and that my people really love me. That is why every time I step in to a ring, I fight for all of El Salvador.” Hernandez is the first world champion in the history of his native country.
Although not gifted with natural talent, speed, or power, Hernandez has overachieved with one thing that many fighters lack; heart! He is the epitome of a fighter that leaves pieces of himself in the ring after every contest. It is hard to believe that Carlos has been able to fight for over fourteen years now considering that he gives so much, both physically and emotionally, to boxing. One may ask how muchlonger can he do this. “I don’t want to be one of those fighters that stayed too long in the game. I will probably do this a couple of more years, if that. This is a dangerous sport, and I want to be able to retire healthy so that I can enjoy my wife and children in the future. I don’t want to have to be a burden to my beautiful wife and want to see my kids grow up and be there for them.”
His family is something that keeps Hernandez going as his wife, Veronica, is also his manager. Carlos would also like to see his son stay away from boxing and go to school. “That’s why I bust my butt, because I want my son to go to good schools and be somebody. I really don’t want him to be a fighter because it is too dangerous. But, if that is his passion, then I will not get in his way and support him instead. Also, my wife is a psychologist and I want to send her to get the best schooling possible. She is so smart and beautiful that I want to provide everything I can for her. We hope to have more children soon and I want to be there for my family. I want to be a successful father and person outside of boxing.”
In closing, “El Famoso” had this to say, “You know, I just thank all of those who have supported me. And to those who don’t know me, I just hope that when they see me fight, they enjoy what they see. All I have to say is that perseverance pays off. I have worked many years to reach my goals, and thank God, I reached them. That was just all perseverance. Thanks to everyone.”
Unfortunately, my fellow fanatics, most of the boxing media has ignored this contest, and denied these gladiators the attention they warrant. SaddoBoxing.com is a boxing site that is consistent and dedicated to giving all fighters the respect and coverage they deserve. We succeed where others fail and will continue to raise the bar. Make sure you tune in on May 28, 2005, and see this fight as it is sure to be an entertaining blood and guts affair.
Sergio Martinez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org