By Jake Donovan
Nothing has ever come easy for Alejandro ‘Payasito’ Hernandez over the course of his 12-year career, one that fittingly began with a loss. For a change, the Mexican southpaw landed in the right place at the right time, with one big win leading to a major fight that could land him at least one more title shot.
An upset win over Marvin Mabait this past March not only thwarted plans for the Filipino to challenge for a bantamweight title, but opened up the door for Hernandez to step in and snatch that opportunity for himself. A similarly uphill battle awaits him, as the hard-luck bantamweight faces Daniel Rosas this Saturday in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico.
The bout, which airs on TV Azteca in Mexico, comes with an interim title at stake. Whoever claims the belt will go on to become the leading candidate to face the winner of the July 12 bout between unbeaten defending champ Tomoki Kameda and former titlist Pungluang Sor Singyu.
“I wasn’t surprised at all when Payasito beat Mabait,” said Felix ‘Tuto’ Zabala, who promoted both fighters at the time of their Telemundo headliner this past March. “I expected him to give Marvin a tough fight, with my goal to present an entertaining fight for the fans.
“So with that win, he gets another chance to become world champion. Rosas may be favored to win, but Payasito has proven before that the odds don’t tell the whole story.”
Rosas (17-1-1, 11KO) is more than a 2-1 favorite to prevail this weekend, despite having yet to impress since moving up from the super flyweight division. The 24-year old was once a leading contender at 115 lb., but difficulties maintaining weight prompted a move up the scales, at the expense of abandoning a title fight with Omar Narvaez.
Hernandez (27-10-2, 15KO) has come up short in two previous title tries, including a failed bid versus Narvaez in Sept. ’08 when both were competing at flyweight.
A move up in weight saw an improved effort in his next title try, a 12-round draw versus Marvin Sonsona, who abandoned the title at the scales after failing to make weight prior to their Nov. ’09 bout. Hernandez is a mere 5-3 since that bout, but has won two straight including the upset knockout win over Mabait to move in position for a bantamweight title fight.
The bout with Rosas serves as part of a tripleheader on TV Azteca, with all three fights boasting major title fight implications. Hernan ‘Tyson’ Marquez faces unbeaten Puerto Rican contender McJoe Arroyo in a 115 lb. title semifinal eliminator, while former four-division champ Jorge Arce puts at risk a potential shot at featherweight titlist Jhonny Gonzalez as he faces veteran Jorge Lacierva.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox