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Mauricio Herrera Learns Illness or Injury Can’t Stop a Big Card

BY David A. Avila ON July 17, 2014
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One day after a hard fought victory Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera revealed that he almost pulled out of his debut for Golden Boy Promotions.

The reason: a respiratory infection.

“I had a fever, I was weak and couldn’t breathe,” said Herrera, while riding back home from Las Vegas. “I had no energy.”

El Maestro learned that sickness and injury are a prizefighter’s nightmare but it happens more often than fans realize, especially in the major events. Herrera almost pulled out of his debut for Golden Boy Promotions but realized the magnitude of the show and plodded forward against Venezuela’s Johan Perez.

Box office stars are not immune.

In the past Floyd Mayweather has fought despite injured hands against major competition and still moved forward. The only question is how many times did he overcome injuries and still fight?

Oscar De La Hoya was another who fought with brittle hands that packed power, especially with his lethal left hook. Injury was never an excuse for De La Hoya to pull out of a fight that his promoter Top Rank had spent millions setting up. Yes there’s insurance, but fans can only tolerate so many cancellations.

When Mexico’s great Julio Cesar Chavez was set to fight De La Hoya in 1996 he suffered a bad cut while sparring just weeks before the fight. He opted to fight and the cut was quickly re-opened by De La Hoya’s rapier-like jab. Chavez lost by technical knockout.

Herrera was luckier than Chavez. Despite a body wracked with infection the Riverside junior welterweight refused to cancel the fight, though there were moments that wished he had.

“Johan Perez was already a difficult opponent. He’s tall with long arms. Even if I was healthy it was going to be a tough fight,” said Herrera. “But I couldn’t cancel the fight. I worked too hard for this and the opportunity to fight on a card this big may never come again.”

Watching the fight was former junior middleweight world champion Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora, who was surprised to hear Herrera was sick during the fight.

“Earlier in my career I used to always suffer an infection just before a fight,” said Mora, who is now signed with Lou DiBella. “I found out it was due to a wisdom tooth that would get infected when my immune system was low due to training.”

Now fighting at middleweight, Mora realizes sickness and injury are part of the game. One of the middleweights he would like to fight had a similar experience last year.

WBA middleweight titlist Gennady “GGG” Golovkin met ring tough Gabriel Rosado in the ring, and weakened and slowed by the flu, needed seven rounds to take out the junior middleweight from Philadelphia. Beating Rosado is not easy even when healthy, but Golovkin powered through the energy sapping flu to eventually stop the gritty Rosado.

Injuries and sickness are not confined to boxing. Recently female MMA star Ronda Rousey defended her UFC bantamweight title despite a persistent knee injury. It took her a mere 16 seconds to knock out Alexis Davis in their encounter earlier this month in Las Vegas. Rousey revealed after the fight she will undergo surgery to repair the problematic knee.

Fighting through injury and sickness is almost a requirement when it comes to the mega fights.

“I’m glad I did it,” said Herrera, who is now the number one ranking junior welterweight according to the WBA list. “I couldn’t breathe and I had no energy but I got through.”

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Comment on this article

deepwater2 says:

Good for Mauricio. He is doing a great job. Keep up the good work. I would like to see him fight Broner.

Radam G says:

Big ups that M-He did that. But he and his team better start taking better care of his body. Respiratory infections, or most any types of viral infection, can be prevented with a proper diet of alkaline water and organic blueberries and rasberries.

In Cali, kid Radam -- at three-and-four years old -- clearly remembers how the late, great trainers/cut men Chuck Bodak and Red Shannon would prescribed the above to quick-to-get-respiratory-infections pugs. Even the late "Old man" Griffin -- the trainer of "Boom-Boom" Mancini -- was down with the above diet.

Top-level arsekickers always have to be preventive not remedial 24/7/365. Eventually your career and moolah will be messed up and tore up from da flo' up and you will throw up if you don't learn the remedies of PREVENTION. Later for the ill-this-and-that apprehension.

Wow! And I'm not surprised about Sergio Mora. But at least he has finally learned. The quickest to get dirty parts of your body are "em smart back jaw" teeth -- what old timers now in heaven called wisdom teeth -- and your feet, especially getting that nasty "toe jam" between the toes. Hehehe!

The old timers would make their own floss-like gidgets to floss between their teeth. And another gidget to floss between their toes. I'm talkin' 'bout some highly clean-on-da-hygiene mofus. They knew the powers of cleanliness.

These old cats used coconut vinegar in warm water to soak "all the dirt and jam and syet off" their "foosies."

With the usage of applecider vinegar and a little warm water, the old cats gargled away "bacteria syet that built overnight (in their) face hole($)."

Most people don't even know that the mouth become a disease holder during the night to stop disease from going down your throat into guts and hurting your butts. That is why you muthasuckas have that dragon breath in the morning. OMFG!

Anyway, I just thought that I would holla how the old timers/old skoolers did da d@mn thang [$¡¢]. Holla!

oubobcat says:

It is really an amazing performance by Herrera when this is taken into account.

Many times, you can tell if a fighter is not right or something is impacting their performance. Herrera not only fought as if nothing was wrong, he stepped up his game in this bout.

Herrera was very aggressive, much more so than we are used to seeing him. He has been on the bad end of some decisions in fights that many thought he deserved to win. In this fight, it was obvious he was trying for the knockout though that was not his style. He was sitting down more on his punches and letting his hands go more frequently in the pocket than we are accustomed to seeing.

Reading this, I am even more impressed with Herrera now than I was before. If he pulled out of this fight, it would have been no shame. But he was determined not to let an illness get in the way of his dream and overcame some major obstacles to put on an impressive performance in the ring.

If Herrera ever fights Broner, let me go on the record now saying that Herrera will win. He is too technically sound for Broner and will control the dead spots. Herrera will pick Broner apart similar to what Malignaggi did but do it better than him. I don't see Broner being able hurt of get Herrera's attention either with his punching power. It is just not the same at 140 as it was at lighter weights and Herrera is a strong natural 140 pound fighter.

Radam G says:

It is really an amazing performance by Herrera when this is taken into account.

Many times, you can tell if a fighter is not right or something is impacting their performance. Herrera not only fought as if nothing was wrong, he stepped up his game in this bout.

Herrera was very aggressive, much more so than we are used to seeing him. He has been on the bad end of some decisions in fights that many thought he deserved to win. In this fight, it was obvious he was trying for the knockout though that was not his style. He was sitting down more on his punches and letting his hands go more frequently in the pocket than we are accustomed to seeing.

Reading this, I am even more impressed with Herrera now than I was before. If he pulled out of this fight, it would have been no shame. But he was determined not to let an illness get in the way of his dream and overcame some major obstacles to put on an impressive performance in the ring.

If Herrera ever fights Broner, let me go on the record now saying that Herrera will win. He is too technically sound for Broner and will control the dAead spots. Herrera will pick Broner apart similar to what Malignaggi did but do it better than him. I don't see Broner being able hurt of get Herrera's attention either with his punching power. It is just not the same at 140 as it was at lighter weights and Herrera is a strong natural 140 pound fighter.


Good analysis. Part of being -- and or becoming -- a great fighter is disguising illnesses and playing possum. M-He was one sick dawg, but he fooled his opponent and most of the viewing audience. Just if the healthy M-He woulda been getting down. Holla!

riverside says:

Good for Mauricio. He is doing a great job. Keep up the good work. I would like to see him fight Broner.


Thanks Deep/RG and Aubo, We would like to push the Broner fight! Box him, let Broner lead and pick him apart countering is M-He forte. You Know Johan is very tall lightweight with 4-5 inch reach over Mauricio, the fight would of very close if we decided fight from the outside.

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