|Huerta at the Hangar
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (May 20, 2011) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © HoganPhotos.com)
There was a time when young
fighters were expected to lose in the development stages of their careers. In
fact, if they hadn't lost, it was believed that they were being overly
protected and not learning their trade. There was an old axiom that if you didn't
have a blemish or two on your ledger, you really weren't seasoned enough to
fight for a world title. It was a rite of passage that every boxer went through
but nowadays, if you lose early on, words like “exposed” and “overhyped” are
tossed around freely. And if you should lose three times within your first
20 outings, well, you just might get a one-way ticket to “Opponentville” or a
release from your promotional company.
Charles Huerta, who has a
mark of 16-2 (9) may or may not be in that position as he faces the slick-boxing
and undefeated Christopher Martin, 21-0-2 (6), at “The Hangar” at the O.C.
Fairgrounds as the main event on Telefutura's “Solo Boxeo”
in a match-up of two young junior featherweights.
"I see it as an
opportunity for me to erase the bumps I had in the road, look on to bigger and
better things after this fight," Huerta said last week, after his workout
at the Maywood Boxing Club. Huerta isn't naïve;
he understands the importance of this bout. A victory is vital to his future
prospects. He can either become a legitimate player or a “suspect.” "That's
the way I've been training, the mentality; I've been looking at it as do-or-die
for me. This is my chance right now to get back up there and get up there with
the contenders where I want to be. I know they have Martin as a world-ranked
contender right now and that's where I want to be. So after this fight, I hope
I can be up there and start fighting these guys."
In his last outing back in
late January, Huerta was outworked and roughed up by Raul Hilares.
He says of that night, "I didn't know anything about him. Just the first
few rounds, he came in aggressive, the low-blows and everything. I mean, I
never went through any of that. It is what it is. Just had to tough it out. It
was a close fight. No excuses after the fight."
Now Huerta is facing a
complete opposite style in Martin, who is a pure boxer that uses the whole ring
and employs lateral movement. Huerta says, "We've seen Christopher Martin;
we've been wanting this fight for a year now. After my loss, they accepted the
fight, so I see something good coming out of it."
Applying pressure will be
the key along with forcing a quick tempo. Huerta will not outbox Martin.
"That's what we're
going to do; we're going to pressure, pressure, pressure. That's the thing
we've been doing and I can box. I could box; I might have to box a little this
fight, so we're going to go in there pressuring, pressuring and boxing but do
it smart." His father, Mando, who also trains him, stated, "We're
going to pressure him and hit the body. You gotta hit the body. Chris Avalos (who
Martin easily decisioned last year) was trying to knock [Martin] out the whole
time but he never landed the punches. Controlled pressure, you just can't walk
in because he'll counterpunch you."
The son believes that these
bumps in the road have made him better. They say that it's in losing where the
real lessons are learned.
"I think so," agreed Huerta. "After this last fight, I took a
good month off just to see where I was at. I knew there was a few things I
needed to do with my weight and stuff, running-wise. So that's what I did this
time. My weight’s already perfect a week before the fight. I was up in Big Beartraining with Urbano Antillon for a
month. Just being there with him and seeing the way he trains gave me a
different look at it."
Huerta is still just 24 years
old, not old by any means, but he's no longer that fresh-faced kid who came
into this sport so wide-eyed and hopeful. The reality of losing can harden a fighter
and it can make a promotional entity- in this case, Golden Boy Promotions- reevaluate just where
they want to go with you. Huerta knows the harsh reality of this business.
"I know that they want me to prove myself and that's what I'm here to
do," he said. "Prove myself and the [Derrick] Wilson and Hilares
fights; I just feel it's made me better. It made me stronger. I finally feel
how it is to lose and I don't want to feel that way again."
Got this email from a reader on Thursday, which might
interest those in and around the “City of Brotherly Love”:
I know this is very late notice but I
thought it was worth a try to let maxboxing know about this and see if you
would be interested in running anything about this. This
saturday in Philly they
will be dedicating a statue to Philly middleweight hall of famer Joey
Giardello. It was a several year effort on
the part of Giardello's family, John Disanto of www.phillyboxinghistory.com,
the VBA, and many others. I linked a bunch of information about the
statue below. I know this is a whacky request very late notice from a
philly fight fan/wannabe internet boxing writer but like I said worth a shot (I
should have thought of this two weeks ago). Thanks for reading and keep
up the great work, always enjoy reading Steve's articles and Alec's [Kohut] great
East Coast coverage.
So it looks like Erislandy Lara will face Paul Williams now on
July 9th on HBO. I think it's an improvement from Nobu Ishida but
it'll be interesting to see how this plays out in the ring...With that said, I
hope Deandre Latimore, who was set to face the Cuban on July 29th on ESPN2
in an IBF eliminator, gets to stay on this slot. “The Bull” is a guy willing to
face everyone and he makes for good fights...Set your DVRs this weekend as
there is a bevy (yes, I said “bevy”) of boxing from Telemundo, which has Jesus
Ruiz-Jesus Galicia, ESPN2, which features Joel Julio-Anges Adjaho, and the
aforementioned card on Telefutura, which also features the return of Ronny
Rios. Then on
Saturday, in addition to the big
show on HBO, Fox Sports has Alfonso Gomez-Calvin Green and EPIX has the
doubleheader from the UK featuring Nathan Cleverly vs. Aleksy Kuziemski and George Groves vs. James DeGale...Speaking of Groves-DeGale, are they seriously betting
their purses on this fight? Now that is what I call prizefighting (of course, others
would call it crazy)...Geez, the more you find out about Arnold Schwarzenegger,
the more you wince...OK, more allegations of EPO usage regarding Lance Armstrong.
Did this also come from a former Filipino sparring partner of Manny
I can be reached at email@example.com and I tweet at www.Twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing.
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