Genaro Hernández, a former super featherweight champion, died today after a lengthy battle with cancer.
The Mexican-American, who turned 45 on May 10, debuted in 1984, and retired in 1998, after getting stopped by Floyd Mayweather. His record stands in perpetuity 38-2-1, with 17 KOs.
He beat Daniel Londas to capture the vacant WBA super featherweight crown in 1991. He held that title until 1994, when he vacated it to move up in weight. A title shot against Oscar De La Hoya came up short in 1995, but Hernandez triumphed over Azumah Nelson in 1997, and "Chicanito" took his WBC super featherweight crown.
The Los Angeles-based fighter battled the invader in his body hard. He had tumors on his shoulders, on his thigh, on his neck and three on his back.
Hernandez will be remembered as a classy pugilist, one who used both hands to good effect, moved smartly, used his height wisely...all told, he was a well rounded boxer who had superior command of all the basics, and then some.
Some recall that he could have taken the easy way out against Nelson in 1997. Nelson dropped Hernandez after the seventh round ended, and Genaro could have opted out of continuing, as Nelson would have been disqualified. Hernandez said heck with that, I want to continue. He valued honor, and doing the right thing.
He showed his toughness going in to the fight with De La Hoya. Shane Mosley broke his nose in sparring a week before the opportunity of a lifetime. Hernandez didn't pull out of the fight, however, and Oscar targeted it, and broke it into 22 pieces.
Hernandez was hit hard in the 2001 stock market crash, largely because he invested in Enron, which went belly up because of fraud. He needed a hand up battling the cancer, and got it. Promoter Bob Arum helped financed many of his treatments, so part of the boxer's legacy will be showing, or reminding people, that the fightgame fraternity isn't only populated by cads.
TSS sends condolences out to his wife Liliana, and children Amanda, and Steven.
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