The most valuable feature in a boxer is heart. Heart means multiple things in the sport of boxing but to have what’s known as a “Mexican’s heart”, is something else entirely. In order to have a Mexican heart it isn’t required that you be from Mexico but most do seem to come from south of the border. Those of you who know boxing understands what I’m talking about; but for those who may be new to the sport I will elaborate
In boxing there will be a time when a fighter’s back is to the wall and they are getting beat down in every way. Some will say they have had enough and stop the fight like Chad Dawson recently did against Andre Ward. A fighter with heart will keep getting up, like Victor Zaleta in his recent bout with Leo Santa Cruz. A fighter with a Mexican heart will go out on his shield or die trying to win like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in his recent title fight with Sergio Martinez. That was one of the worst beatings I’ve seen in a long time but Chavez just kept coming and almost pulled out a knockout victory in the twelfth round.
A Mexican heart also defines what a fighter does when he is hurt or stunned. Some bottle up in defensive mode, while others try to run or be elusive. What does a fighter with a Mexican heart do? He fires back, just like Juan Manuel Marquez in numerous bouts. He doesn’t defend, he simply returns fire. Marquez has been knocked down by Michael Katsidis, Marco Antonio Barrera, Floyd Mayweather and of course Manny Pacquiao, but he keeps getting up and coming forward. Although he lost to Mayweather, one win evades him and haunts him in fact because in his heart Marquez feels that he is the better fighter. That win is against Manny Pacquiao.
His fights with Pacquiao perfectly describe what it means to have a “Mexican heart”. In their first fight, Manny put him down three times in the first round but Marquez rose each time and in many people’s minds won the fight thereafter. All three of their bouts were close, competitive fights but Marquez feels he was screwed. He will have his chance to shake Pacquiao’s ghost off his back and redeem himself on December 8th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
I said earlier that it’s not a requirement to be from Mexico to have a Mexican heart. A lot of you may disagree with what I am about to say but hear me out. James Kirkland may not be Hispanic but his heart beats Mexican blood. Some of you may say he is “chinny” and I agree but look at his loss to Ishida. He wasn’t in the right frame of mind or in shape; Ishida was knocking him down with flush shots. Joe Cortez had to end up sitting on him to stop Kirkland from getting up. Angulo dropped him as well but Kirkland rose to his feet and took a barrage of punches. Kirkland continued to get pummeled by Angulo and was hurt again but Kirkland kept throwing and returned the favor with a knockdown of his own. Say what you want about him but he has the Mexican heart.
Most Mexican fighters don’t know the words “no mas”; it is not in their vocabulary. I don’t know if it’s because their day to day lives are much harder, their financial struggles, or if it’s just something in the water down there but they don’t know how to give up. Mexico breeds the biggest hearts in boxing and I for one greatly appreciate it. Thank you Mexico!
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