Mario Herrera: Chicago's rising boxing champion
"If a person can fall in love with a sport when doing it just for cardio, where does that put the love I have for boxing?"
This is how Mario Herrera, a promising up-and-coming young boxer from Skokie, Illinois sums up a passion for the competitive sport of boxing. At only 24, Mario's already proven to be no regular Chicago pro fighter -- making a remarkable mark on a young professional career with a 5-0 winning record all made this year in consecutive months.
After making waves as an amateur fighter and winning at the Golden Gloves Final, Chicago's biggest boxing event -- representing Conquer Fight Club and the Libertyville Gym, the 24-year-old Herrera is now more than ready to take the world of boxing into his own hands.
From troubled growing-up years to being introduced to sports
Having been born in the Windy City of Chicago, Herrera is no stranger to getting into trouble as a teen as "winds of challenges" from different directions come up to him and his family that is strongly put into place by his single mother.
Mario's mother introduced sports to the children by putting them into soccer clubs. What started as a simple way of keeping Mario out of trouble has turned out to be a life-changing moment for the young boy, eventually becoming absorbed in playing sports.
An impressive amateur career and the journey to pro
"Learning the sport and knowing myself puts me on a whole different level. My ambition and dedication have brought me where I am today and gave me the things I have today. In this sport, what you put in will most definitely show".
While not having a big amateur career like most fighters, Herrera takes pride in the fact that he's trained himself hard to win in the amateur arena and started making weight and understanding the ropes of overcoming obstacles with the limited resources he's had.
On the road to a pro career, Mario has found strong support that continues to guide the right direction. Herrera credits Fernando Perez the most -- the person who led Mario to the boxing gym and the one who saw Mario's potential and talent early on.
Mario also came across other inspiration guides and advisors such as Russel "Rocky" Fiore, and Tony Zale-trained Giovanni Caravello. Giovanni became Mario's trainer and trained Mario to train with the specifics of the so-called "sweet science in boxing".
With the right people behind Mario and armed with the knowledge, training, work ethic, and ambition that Mario brought to the ring, Herrera is no doubt aiming to become the top gun, to become a world champion.