12 ROUNDS WITH MARCOS HERNANDEZ
Once-beaten middleweight says he’s ready to graduate from “The Contender” to title contention when he squares off with Jeison Rosario this Saturday on PBC on FS1.
By Lem Satterfield – Premier Boxing Champions
A lot has occurred in the life of Marcos Hernandez since he and Jeison Rosario fought to a draw in February 2018. It began when he was selected among 16 professional fighters to compete at 160 pounds on The Contender television series.
Hernandez, 25, 13-1-1 (3 KOs), earned a split decision over Danny Valdivia in May and a unanimous verdict over Quantavious Cash in November to finish behind champion Brandon Adams and runner-up Shane Mosley Jr.
This Saturday, February 23, he’ll square off against Rosario (17-1-1, 12 KOs) again, on the undercard of the WBC super middleweight title fight between Anthony Dirrell and Avni Yildirum at the Minneapolis Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The bout will be televised on FS1 (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
Has your Contender experience changed your life?
I made more money last year than I had in the past. You’re getting weekly checks while you’re there being filmed. There’s a winner’s purse and a loser’s purse, and when I got sent home between fights after being cut over my right eye, they gave me the loser’s side even though I didn’t fight. That was very generous of them.
Plus, I’ve received a lot of exposure. Once, in a hotel parking lot, there was this guy marveling at me, so excited to see me. That was a really cool feeling, having somebody so happy to see me. I have people coming to me at supermarkets wanting to take pictures. They know who I am now as a fighter. Beside Brandon Adams, I’m the only Contender who didn’t lose on the show.
If I had the chance, I believe I would have beaten Shane Mosley if I hadn’t had to come home with the cut, but it’s time to move forward.
I wouldn’t say I feel any more pressure heading into this fight as a result of being on the show, but I do want to show I’m a better fighter than the one who faced Rosario before.
What is your proudest moment as a fighter?
Beating Kevin Newman on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor in August 2017. I lost my previous fight in March to Kyrone Davis by split decision.
Kyrone just out-boxed me. It’s a tough feeling to think you’re better than somebody but to lose, anyway. Against Davis, being honest with myself, my heart and mind weren’t in the ring with me.
You took your father’s [Joseph “Joey” Hernandez] advice and replaced him as a trainer with Henry Ramirez.
It was tough at first when my Dad first told me that I should find a new trainer. I thought he was giving up on me after losing one time. My mind was racing, but I got the call for the Newman fight, and my first camp with Henry Ramirez was great.
Being able to bounce back from that loss and fighting at a weight above 160 for the first time, I showed everybody a lot. I went up 10 pounds from 153 to 163, I bounced back against an undefeated fighter, and I did it on a Floyd Mayweather card, beating him handily and knocking him down in the last round.
What improvements have you made since the series?
My father was very good at molding me into the fighter I became, allowing me to develop into a well-rounded boxer.
Now, Henry Ramirez has tightened and refined some things within my style. I’m learning to sit down more on my punches, which is really translating into my power.