By: Bryant Romero
Undefeated rising Jr welterweight prospect Juan Heraldez looks to keep his unbeaten record intact when takes on Kevin Watts (12-2, 5 KOs) in a ten round bout this Friday at the Sam’s Town Hotel in Las Vegas. Heraldez is coming off his career best victory over previously undefeated Jose Miguel Borrego, where Heraldez had to get up off the canvas to win. It’s been almost a year since Heraldez’s last fight as he was recovering from a hand injury. The hand is now good and healed as he will look to make a statement in the super-lightweight division. Boxinginsider caught with Heraldez to talk about his next fight, the super-lightweight division, and his ultimate goal in boxing.
“I was raised in Las Vegas,” Heraldez said. “I got to see the champs and watching the pros here training in Vegas motivated me and I became a pro and it was my dream. I’m living it. Me and my dad use to watch Chavez fights when I was kid and that’s what made me want to be a boxer,” he said.
Photo Credit: Juan Heraldez Facebook Account
Heraldez knew very early in his amateur career that he would eventually turn pro. He would later drop out of high school in just his sophomore year to turn all of his attention to boxing. After the success he was getting winning many fights and amateur tournaments, Heraldez knew he was destined to be a fighter.
“I was winning tournaments and I was just beating up everybody,” Heraldez told me. “I knew I had a chance and I caught people’s attention from boxing.”
He would turn pro in 2009 scoring a second round KO over Luis Tapia in his pro debut. After winning his first five bouts, Heraldez would get the attention of Floyd Mayweather and got the opportunity to spar Floyd to help him prepare before the first Maidana fight. Mayweather came away impressed and signed him to a promotional agreement.
“I use to spar a lot at Floyd’s gym and I use to spar with Jessie Vargas a lot. I became real close to Boza Edwards and it was easier to get the job to spar Floyd. And from there I started sparring Floyd for the first Maidana fight and Floyd told me that he thinks and I can be world champion and he put me under his wing,” Heraldez said.
Heraldez sees himself as a boxer/puncher, a patient fighter that takes it round by round. He doesn’t look for a knockout when he steps in the ring, but once he has his opponent hurt, Heraldez is not afraid to go for the kill. He’s heading into his next fight on almost a year of inactivity. Juan revealed that he had a hand injury before his last fight against Borrego.
“I had a hand injury prior to the Borrego fight. I took the fight with Borrego with one hand. A lot of people don’t know that I beat Borrego with one hand,” Heraldez said. “I didn’t have a right hand to throw a good punch.
“I just had to sit out for awhile and let my knuckle heal. I just had to ice it and go to therapy, but right now I’m 100 percent,” he said.
The 28-year-old doesn’t seem to be fazed at all by the inactivity heading into his next fight and envisions a beating for his next opponent this Friday. If all goes well this Friday, Heraldez sees himself challenging for a world title within the next year. He already has his eyes on the world champions at super-lightweight and he feels the division is wide open.
“Within six to eight months I think we put a couple of fights together and the 140 pound division is wide open,” Herladez said. “Anybody that has a belt, you got Ramriez, you got Maurice Hooker, Flanagan. There are a couple of guys at 140. I don’t see anybody special. Progrias I’ll fight him, he likes to get hit. People that like to get hit don’t last long,” he said.
The confident Herladez feels he’s a bad night for anybody in the super-lightweight division and has aspirations to not only become a world champion, but to land those big paydays to care for his family.
“Taking care of my family and taking care of everybody that looked after for me and my kids, being a world champion and all the accolades is extra. But to me being a caregiver to all my family and taking care of everybody that looked after me is the biggest championship belt I could get.
“I’m too fast; I’m too strong, it’s my show. I’m a bad man for anybody in the division and I’m going to stay undefeated,” Heraldez said.