Genaro Hernandez is a two time and current jr. lightweight champion who is thought of as one of the best pure boxers of the last decade. With his up-coming fight with Floyd Mayweather I thought he would be a perfect guest to start The Boxing Wise interview with. Of course he is also one of my favorite boxers so he would have been high on my list no matter what. As you will see by the interview his reputation as one of the truly good guys in boxing is well deserved and I found him to be a joy to interview. Also a thank you must go out the people at Top Rank who arranged this interview in less than two days and were nothing less than courteous and professional at all times.

The Genaro Hernandez interview.

BW: Lets start at the beginning, what got you started in boxing.

Hernandez:  Well my dad, he took my brother to a gym because people were 
stealing money from him. So he took him to try and learn how to defend 
himself and I tagged along, so I told my dad to buy me some shorts and 
I would get into boxing too.

BW: Was there someone who saw your talents early on and helped guide you 
in the pro's or did it take 10 to 15 fights for the California area 
trainers or managers to see your talents.

Hernandez: No, my brother he was a top rated welterweight and he spoke 
to his manger and told him that I had pretty good talent and that he would 
work with me. The manager said he would also work with me and signed me 
up right away.

BW: You won the WBA jr. lightweight championship in France (against Danile
Londas). Did you wait to celebrate the win until your returned home and 
how where you greeted upon your return.

Hernandez: Well we all went to eat at a night club. We had meet this guy 
from Spain who ran a night club in France and he had invited us to eat at 
his nightclub. So we just ate at the nightclub that night and when we got 
back to the hotel it was time to go. The only people that celebrated (if 
anyone) when we got home was my side of the family and some neighbors  
from next door. Other than that we were relatively overshadowed by 
everything else that was going on back then.

BW: Thats right they had football teams in L.A back then.

Hernandez: Yeah (laughs).

BW: Has the trash talking of Mayweathers and his father effected you in 
any way? Perhaps made you overtrain or do something else that you have 
not done for other big fights.

Hernandez: No. They can say whatever they want, whats going to count is 
what happens during the fight. Up in the ring it is a whole different 
story your not going to be able to talk. Im am sure he is a pretty good 
talker but he is going to have to back it up.

BW: What does a normal day of training consist of when you prepare for a 
title fight.

Hernandez: I wake up at 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning, I do my roadwork which 
is about a half hour or forty five minutes. By 10:00 o'clock I am in the 
gym, I do my three or four rounds of shadow boxing. I do anywhere from 8 to 
10 rounds of sparring, I hit the punching bags for 3 or 4 rounds, hit the 
speed bags for couple of rounds and then jump rope for 10 to 15 minutes.

BW: So this takes about 2 hours a day?

Hernandez: About 2 or 2 and half hours a day (not including the roadwork).

BW: Are you sparring with anyone special to get ready for this Mayweather 

Hernandez: No. He is just like anybody else you know. Yeah he has talent 
and everything but he is nobody special he has two arms and a head just 
like me.

BW: He is a little bit faster than most of the fighters you have fought 
dont you think.

Hernandez: Yeah but I have always worked out with people who have good 
speed. So his speed is not all that.

BW: You have fought overseas and it seems "boxers" are more appreciated 
in Europe and Asia. Was there ever a thought given to fighting in Japan 
or Europe exclusively.

Hernandez: No not exclusively, but every time I go to Japan they do treat 
me good I have all the respect for them. As a matter of fact wherever I go 
I have been treated good. So there is nothing set in my mind that I would 
rather fight in a certain place.

BW: You have now been a champion for the WBA and the WBC. Is there any
difference in their operating methods or the way you were treated by those 
two sanctioning bodies.

Hernandez: Well I will say that I am treated a little bit better by the WBC. 
Because they always wanted me to fight for their title. They gave me a shot 
at it and I am more than thankful for that. The WBA were a little more 
ungreatful due to the fact that they stripped me from the title. Their 
champion who I believe is Korean, when he was ranked number 5 or 6 in the 
world I was willing to give him a shot at the title and he didnt want to 
fight me. You know it is just the little things they did wrong to me, I felt 
a little disrespected by them.

BW: That would be bad since you have a reputation as a good guy and for
taking on everyone.

Hernandez: Not only that. Being their champion for 3 years and fighting 
everyone that they wanted me to fight. I thought I was living up to my end 
of the deal. But unfortunately they felt that their fighter was going to 
win the belt and he lost.

BW: Philadelphia is known for its "gym wars" but Southern California is also 
a hotbed for boxing talent. Is there a California version of those gym wars 
where fighters try to make a name for themselves during sparring because 
of the talent and the competition around them.

Hernandez: Oh yeah. You get alot of guys out there, you know they find out 
that they are working out with a world champion and they want to go and 
knock their heads off. As a matter of fact I think that happens everywhere 
not only Philadelphia. I just think that the people dont see it that much 
because the press are never around in the gyms that much.

BW: Other sports stars make lots of money thru endorsements and with your
reputation for sportsmanship and honesty have their been any offers for 
you do to endorsements at any level.

Hernandez: You know I had the worst luck in all that. I've tried with some 
companies and they dont respect the fighters. They dont want to see a fighter 
get endorsed by any products. It is just very hard for a fighter to get 
endorsed especially if you are from over here in California. Most of the 
companies are on the east coast and for some reason they dont like the 
people from the west coast. I dont understand why, we have good fighters 
over here just like the east coast. Unfortunately they are not willing to 
work with us. I will give you one example. I had given a application in for 
Reebok trying to get a endorsement from them. At the last minute I dont know 
why it was, but some guy from the main office just threw the contract out. I 
had already had my shorts made with Reebok and everything else. And they 
just threw it out. So the people out here in California were willing to 
work with me, but when it came time for the fight the main office left me 
stranded with my shorts (laughs).

BW: Was there ever a time when you just became tired or burned out on 
boxing and wanted to do something else.

Hernandez: There have been times when I been tired of boxing. What has it 
been 24 or 23 years that I have been boxing now. After 23 years your body 
begins to feel that it should be doing something else. It just starts 
getting tired. But I think I have been getting more pumped up a little by 
little now due to the fact alot of people from the press want me to loose. 
They have it planed that I am going to loose the belt this year and I am 
trying to prove them wrong.

BW: Plus there is alot of talent starting to surface at jr. lightweight and 
move up from the lower weights.

Hernandez: Oh yeah, Yes. But I dont think I am over the hill just because 
I am 32. I take good care of myself and I dont believe I am the type of 
fighter who has been hit alot.

BW: Was there a fighter that you boxed whose record did not show just how 
good of a boxer he really was.

Hernandez: (a Pause to think) That might have been Antonio Hernandez I 
think (after checking his record he was right) in Fort Worth. It was my 
second fight after I lost to Oscar. I believe he is one of the guys who 
could be real tough, he takes a good punch and he was in good shape when 
I fought him.  They say he cut easily, and I hit him with everything. I 
didnt see no cuts on him and I only saw one little bruise, and I said
to him after 10 rounds is that all the marks you have? He said yeah and 
if it wasnt you that did it, then it was the referee.

BW: Was there a boxer you patterned yourself after either inside or 
outside of the ring.

Hernandez: There are two fighters who I kind of follow. That would be 
Carlos Zarate for his liver punches and his ability to take a good shot 
and not loose his composure. Then there is the niece guy which is Alexis 

BW: You already have the reputation of a Arguello outside of the ring 
and even in the ring except for his one punch power.

Hernandez: Thank you. And no I dont have the power that is something I am 
lacking. But I am the type of know people say I have the 
power in the gym. But I do believe I dont feel like getting hit in the 
ring so I dont go out there with the intention of knocking anyone out. So 
that is what I am lacking in.

BW: You showed good power in the second Raul "Jibaro" Perez fight when you 
landed that shot to the liver.

Hernandez: Well that was not a power punch. Anyone that gets hit good to 
the liver is going to go down.

BW: That was one of the most beautiful punches I ever saw.

Hernandez: Thank you.

BW: What are your interests outside of boxing.

Hernandez: Well I am interested in computers. Right now I have to travel 
alot and I cant go to school, but I am hoping to go back to school and 
get a business degree or something along those lines. Or if anything 
should come up in sports commentating.

BW: Well I saw you on UNIVISION a couple of weeks ago doing commentary.

Hernandez: Good, maybe with the little practice I am getting there after 
I retire from boxing I can become one of them ha ha.

BW: You are at the age when retirement has to be a consideration. How 
many fights to you think are left in you. It is very rare for a fighter 
to retire while still champion (I can only think of Marciano and Khaosai 
Galaxy) is that something you think about.

Hernandez: I am hoping I could retire as a champion. But right now I am 
not thinking of retirement. It has crossed my mind a couple of times but 
only God knows how long I will be in there. I am hoping at least 4 or 5 
more years.

BW: That many years ?

Hernandez: I hope so.

BW: So you think you have about 7 or 9 more fight left.

Hernandez: Yes or maybe more (laughs).

BW: You obviously want to get the best fighters in the ring with you. Are 
there any fighters you are looking at, maybe a Angel Mandfredy.

Hernandez: Right. If everything goes well gainst Mayweather I am hoping 
we can get Manfredy in there. I do  believe he is one of the best at 130 
pounds out there.

BW: Reportedly Manfredy priced himself out of some fights, is that 
something you are even worried about?

Hernandez: I dont even worry about it, if it is meant to be it is meant 
to be. Things happen for a reason and if Manfredy is not there, then maybe 
I will move up to 135 pounds and fight anyone up there because I am not 
afraid to fight anybody.

BW: Obviously you have proven that by fighting Oscar DeLaHoya at 135.

Hernandez: You know I dont think I did bad at 135 when I fought Oscar. The 
reason I lost that fight is because of a injury I had two weeks prior to 
the fight.

BW: It was reported that you had broken your nose prior to the fight by 
Shane Mosely ?

Hernandez: What did Oscar do to me? He didnt really do nothing to me, all 
he did was get a punch right on the tip of my nose where it was already 

BW: You had Oscar swinging at air during parts of that fight.

Hernandez: I look at Oscars fights, and I look at myself with him and I 
was doing good. his weight didnt have anything to do with it alot of 
people were saying his weight had alot to do with the fight. Nothing. 
Only the nose was the problem.

BW: I was one of those people who thought his weight would be a big 
advantage. Also let me ask you why was this fight not made back when 
Oscar was fighting at 130 pounds.

Hernandez: I believe that at the time Bob Arum and his people were afraid 
to accept the fight at 130 pounds because they knew Oscar needed more 

BW: It looks like Naseem Hamed might make a jump to jr. lightweight while 
you are still a champion. I have written on my website that I think you 
are the only one at jr. light or featherweight who can beat him. What do 
you think of him and that matchup.

Hernandez: You know if he does go up I would be more than happy to fight 
him. I think he is a great fighter alot of people dont like him but you 
know I like him. He talks alot and everything, yet he backs it up. He 
does his little act during the promotion of the fight which alot of 
fighters do now, but then that is why he makes alot of money. People tell 
me in order to make money you have to trash talk but I dont feel
comfortable doing that. I think that is a mistake I have made in my 
career, I guess.

BW: Well what you lack for in personality you have more than made up for 
in your great reputation outside of the ring. Much like Arguello.

Hernandez: Yeah but you see we are not making the millions that the guys 
who are bad mouthing are (laughs).

BW: Or the heavyweights.

Hernandez: True. You know I dont understand why people pay more attention 
to the heavyweights when the smaller guys are the ones who are making the 

BW: That is a sticking point with me also, I think more potential boxing 
fans are turned of by slow, fat heavyweights. When they could see some 
great fights and fighters at the lower weights and appreciate the sport 

Hernandez: Right.

BW: Great that is about all the questions I have, I dont want to take too 
much of your time.

Hernandez: Oh no dont worry about that. I have all the time in the world 

At this point we discussed some boxing subjects including the recent Tyson 
episode and then decided to do more questions and answers.

BW: Let me ask you about entourages. You dont travel with a bunch of people, 
is it pretty much a family business.

Hernandez: Yeah the only time you will see alot people around me is fight 
time. When they show their support. Other than that it is from the gym to 
the house. My family is with me most of time.

BW: Pretty much a homebody (laughs).

Hernandez: There is too much trouble out there. I dont need no trouble. 
Why put more stress on you when you already got enough.

BW: Well you have fought in Indio on the Tribal Indian Casino. There is a 
move on in the California Senate to ban the Casinos. Any thoughts on that 
and the fight venues that would go down with them.

Hernandez: I dont think about it too much. I do think this is something 
wrong that the State of California is doing. The Indians were here first 
and they deserve to have their own rules as long as they do not affect the 
people outside of their reservation I dont think the state should bother 
them. Give them their part of the land and let them do whatever they want 
with it as long as they do not affect the people outside of it.

BW: The L.A Forum that is a place I first saw you fight in and you had 
many fights there is that someplace you would like to return too? Or now 
that you are with Top Rank is that something that might prevent you from 
fighting there again.

Hernandez: Nothing prevents anything, I do believe that if a fight were 
to be made at the Forum they would work some kind of agreement out. I dont 
want to talk bad about The Forum but I think they did alot of wrong doing 
to me. They disrespected me after I lost to Oscar they wanted to tell me 
I was going to get paid $7,000 for a 10 round fight.

BW: That is ridiculous since you along with Jorge Paez were the biggest 
draws for The Forum, no one brought more fans to the Arena.

Hernandez: Not only that, we had a relationship that worked nicely and for 
them to do something like that. I just felt that they were using and 
abusing me. The point was that they lost their champions and they thought 
I wasnt worth anything to them any more. They thought they were going to 
have the fighter who beat Oscar. And I thought in my mind it was going to 
beat him too. But unfortunately it didnt happen. So they wanted to get me 
real cheap and I wasnt going to go that way.

BW: So they pretty much kicked you while you were down.

Hernandez: Yeah, they just wanted to throw more dirt on me ha ha.

BW: Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions.

Hernandez: It was my pleasure.