Huerta at the Hangar
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (May 20, 2011) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © HoganPhotos.com)
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Charles Huerta

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."
 

  STATUE 

  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.  
 
Gary Purfield


FRIDAY FLURRIES

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 Pacquiao?...

I can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.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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