Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Marquez Strength Coach’s Checkered Past Brought to Light

By Jake Donovan

If only Manny Pacquiao could demand that Juan Manuel Marquez take the test before stepping into the ring with the best.

For now, judgment needs to be reserved. However, the revelation of convicted steroid dealer-turned-government cooperator Angel Heredia – now known as Angel Hernandez – joining Juan Manuel Marquez’ camp in preparation for the Mexican’s third crack at an official win over Pacquaio can’t possibly fly under the radar.

News first caught the attention of many in the industry after scanning the Twitter page of BALCO co-founder Victor Conte, who of course is no stranger to doping scandals. Conte revealed through tweets that the man identified as “Angel Hernandez” in Episode 2 of 24/7 Pacquiao/Marquez is in fact Heredia, who testified in 2008 against former Olympic coach Trevor Graham as a cooperating witness.

Heredia became the government’s star witness three years prior when he was linked to money laundering and drug trafficking. His credibility was called into question, but all of his information proved to check out, leading to the discovery of PED use by several notable athletes and Olympic medalists, including Marion Jones and Maurice Greene.

Then 33 years old, Heredia agreed to testify even before knowing what he would get in return. Prosecutors had assisted him with his Visa (Heredia is a Mexican citizen), but never outright promised full immunity in exchange for his court testimony.

When all was said and done, Heredia never served a day in prison for his role in a scandal that rocked the sports world. He was sparsely heard from since that trial, and certainly an unknown entity in the boxing world.

Until now.

Boxing’s link to that world has become more prominent in recent years, with Conte working with several top stars, including current pound-for-pound entrants Nonito Donaire and Andre Ward. There are still many who are skeptical of his involvement in anyone’s career given his checkered past, largely in part to the number of athletes whose names were tarnished during the height of the BALCO scandal, including boxing’s own Shane Mosley.

More troubling to some is the fact that he goes out of his way to seek publicity and keep his name in the headlines, though rarely if ever at the expense of the clients with whom he’s working. The other side of that argument is that Conte does it to ensure all that he has nothing to hide.

Whether or not the same can be said for the man now known as Angel Hernandez remains to be seen.

For what it’s worth, there has never been any reason to suspect Marquez of any wrongdoing throughout his storied career that is destined for the Hall of Fame. His business sense has been called into question – most notably his rejecting a high six-figure payday to rematch Pacquiao in 2005, to instead travel to Indonesia for a $32,000 payday in a controversial points loss to Chris John.

Marquez has long ago recovered from that publicity hit, largely in part to the late career surge he has enjoyed. Beginning with his points win over countryman Marco Antonio Barrera in March 2007, Marquez has been on a role, racking up notable against some of the best in the world in the super featherweight and lightweight divisions. Chief among them have been his  knockout win over Juan Diaz in a fight that went on to win 2009 Fight of the Year honors, and last year’s off-the-canvas stoppage of Michael Katsidis in yet another Fight of the Year contender.

In fact, his only losses since the Chris John debacle have come against the sport’s two very best fighters in the world – a narrow split decision loss to Pacquiao in their ’08 rematch that many have scored for Marquez; and his lopsided points loss against a returning Floyd Mayweather in 2009, in a bout that took place two divisions above Marquez’ lightweight frame.

It was his performance in the Mayweather fight – as well as the preparation leading into it – that had his handlers putting a lot of thought into how he was going to properly grow into the 144 lb. catchweight for next weekend’s showdown with Pacquiao.

Enter Heredia/Hernandez, who was brought into this camp to help Marquez change up training methods to naturally add strength and muscle to his frame without sacrificing speed and reflexes.

The results have been a far cry from his simply adding nine pounds – most of which appeared to be in the form of flab and love handles – as Marquez now boasts a chiseled frame and what seems to be a greater confidence about himself, though never to the point of arrogance as he remains one of the sport’s most humble servants.

Given Marquez’ honorable past, you want to believe that Hernandez has joined the camp with the intention of taking the necessary steps to reestablish his credibility and not be forever identified as a former steroid distributor.

For those who question why he’s now running around as Angel Hernandez, optimists will immediately counter that it’s easier to sell a good product (his knowledge and training methods) without being weighed down by a bad name.

It’s also his attempt to pass along knowledge to a boxing superstar in a different manner than his own cruel introduction for how many of the modern day athletes chose to improve their game.

Hernandez’ entrance into the world of PED’s came unexpectedly. A championship discus thrower as a teenager in Mexico, Heredia was a great enough athlete to immediately compete against the best when he began attending high school in Texas.

One day while training back home in Mexico City, Hernandez bumped into Cuban discus thrower Luis Delis, who won Olympic Bronze in the 1980 Moscow Games.

Hopes of learning how to improve his game instead became an eye-opener, when Delis simulated the technique of injecting PED’s into his veins. The run-in changed Hernandez’ life, while reminding him of the resources at his disposal as the son of a chemist and his own love for science.

Three years after a trial that forever changed his life, Hernandez now looks to return to put to better use his undergraduate degree in kinesiology (the scientific study of human movement). It’s what he learned in a classroom and through his own experiences as an athlete that he looks to pass on to Marquez ahead of the biggest fight of his life.

Or so we can only hope. 

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by KTFO on 11-03-2011

[QUOTE=Osirus022;11361591]DUmbass, im talkiin about where are most steroids done, where do they come from idiot[/QUOTE] Hey DUmbass read the last line of the post. MEXICO and CANADA are where most steroids are smuggled from into the US. Mexico is also…

Comment by Gino Ros on 11-02-2011

[QUOTE=thuggin_yo;11361567]It is now safe to say that the Marquez facing Pacquiao will be far better than the Marquez that faced Mayweather!![/QUOTE] Why? Are you saying that Marquez is dirty?

Comment by Gino Ros on 11-02-2011

[QUOTE=SoggyLungs;11361804]they didn't help fernando vargas.[/QUOTE] Why do people say this? It makes no sense at all. Why - because he lost? What if I told you that without the steroids, nando would have gotten knocked out [B][I]earlier[/I][/B]?

Comment by Bermuda on 11-02-2011

[QUOTE=delpilar;11361777]PED's reputation is now at stake! Will it help a boxer?[/QUOTE] they didn't help fernando vargas.

Comment by delpilar on 11-02-2011

PED's reputation is now at stake! Will it help a boxer?

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (70)
Top Headlines David Haye Called In By BBBofC, Must Explain Bellew Threats Frank Warren Jabs Hearn: Talks Golovkin-Saunders, Crolla-Linares Eddie Hearn Passed On Michael Conlan Signing Loeffler: Too Much Money For Canelo-Golovkin Not To Happen Joshua, Bellew Are Backing Crolla To Get Revenge on Linares HBO's Kellerman Breaks Down Mayweather-McGregor Situation Martin Gethin Aims To Expose Experience Gaps in Jack Catterall Is GGG Losing Spunk or Was Jacobs as Crafty as He Appeared? Brace Yourself for the Real Possibility of Canelo-Lemieux in September Juan Manuel Marquez Could Name Date, Opponent Next Week Vasyl Lomachenko is Not Taking Jason Sosa Lightly Guillermo Rigondeaux's Adviser Explains Current Career Status Andre Dirrell vs. Jose Uzcategui in Play For May 20 Loeffler Confirms Golovkin-Jacobs Did About 170K PPV Buys Photos: Nico Hernandez vs. Patrick Gutierrez - Official Weigh-In De La Hoya: Golovkin a Big Star? Why Does He Sell 100-200K on PPV? Photos: Jhonny Gonzalez vs. Francisco Contreras - Official Weigh-In Christopher Martin Shocks Daniel Franco, TKO in Three Josh Taylor Overcomes Cut, Stops Warren Joubert In Six Photos: Jorge Paez Jr. vs. Daniel Sandoval - Official Weigh-In Mikey Garcia Will Go To 140 in 2018, Unless Lomachenko Comes Conrad Cummings Stops Gogi Knezevic, Picks Up WBO Regional Shumenov vs. Dorticos Headed To April 29 in Las Vegas Liam Williams: Liam Smith Will Be in For a Rude Awakening Nacho Admits Surprise at Chavez's Hard Work For Canelo Fight Chocolatito: To Win, I Have To Knock Sor Rungvisai Out Rematch! Ray Robinson Returns To The Fillmore in Philadelphia Barthelemy vs. Relikh WBA Eliminator is Ordered Jermell Charlo vs. Charles Hatley Added To Berto vs. Porter Card Photos: Tyron Zeuge vs. Isaac Ekpo - Official Weigh-In Crolla: I'm in The Best Shape of My Life For Linares Rematch Billy Joe Saunders' Trainer on Facing Gennady Golovkin Porter: McGregor Sparring Looked Bad, Mayweather Batters Him Photos: Linares, Crolla Ready For Rematch War - Official Weigh-In Helenius vs. Chisora Rematch Finalized, May 27 in Finland David Benavidez vs. Rogelio Medina in WBC Eliminator Crolla: I'll Need Career Best Performance To Beat Linares Thurman No Longer Concerned With Pursuit of Mayweather Spence's Trainer: Brook Dwells on His Loss as Career High Point! Frank Warren: Saunders Very Confident He'll Beat Golovkin
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement