If you haven’t heard the name of Joey Hernandez you’re probably not alone. As a matter of fact, Joey Hernandez himself will be the first to admit that you probably haven’t heard of him either. But, on January, 24th, we may find out if he’s a name worth knowing but more importantly, if he’s a name worth remembering.
The man who calls himself “Twinkle Fingers” was born in Miami, Florida and was brought up in the business of boxing. Receiving his first pair of boxing gloves at age 3, Hernandez’ father was a boxing manager for many club fighters in the area.
While in Vegas visiting family, Hernandez and his brother would beg their father to show them the ballroom where fighters fought in the hotels where they would stay. And, instead of running around the hotel lobby, the halls and driving the staff crazy as kids do, they would instead imagine being fighters themselves and doing “the walk” (leaving their hotel room and walking to the ballroom pretending they were fighters going go to mix it up).
If you listen to his story, it’s incredible that he’s even a professional fighter now. Most if not all fighters have to deal with professional politics but not every fighters deals with personal politics in their careers.
His mother hates the sport of boxing. She even gave Hernandez’ father an ultimatum to either forget about fighting as a career or he could forget about her. There were even issues with the man who raised him in this industry.
As father/son relationships in this business usually go, it ended up much like how Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his father Floyd Sr. once was or how Roy Jones Jr. and his dad ended up… badly. Hernandez and his father love each other but Hernandez understand that if they want to keep a good personal relationship with his father, it’s best they keep their relationship personal.
Then you have the boxing politics.
Now, Hernandez is taking on former IBF world Jr. middleweight champion Cornelius “K9” Bundrage on January, 24th in an IBF world championship elimination bout.
Of course, elimination bouts aren’t out of the ordinary, but this feat is nonetheless impressive. Currently with no manager or a promoter (after his falling out with Don King), he had to fight to get to this point, literally and figuratively.
“It’s just a blessing that I got chosen to fight for the eliminator after Don King got me stale for a year,” says Joey.
This is a position that so few fighters are able to maneuver themselves into – a great opportunity that they can capitalize on immediately after. If Hernandez successfully gets passed Bundrage, current IBF champion Carlos Molina is willing, able and well respected fighter who is also looking to make up for lost time- ironically because of the same circumstances that Hernandez is in now; no manager, no promoter and promoter issues with Don King.
“I would love to fight for the IBF it’s always been my favorite belt with Carlos Molina," says Hernandez.
If all goes well on January 24, this could be a very happy new year for the Miami born fighter as the wheels of destiny may start to spin. A great win over Bundrage will make him the mandatory for the IBF world championship. And, with a win over Molina to become the IBF champion… well, things could start getting very serious very fast.
Hernandez is in one of the hottest divisions today at junior middleweight which is also sandwiched in between welterweight and middleweight – two divisions that bring a lot of competition, star power and money.
Yes, one win could mean a very happy new year for a guy we didn’t know existed just a few days ago!