RingTV.com caught up to strength coach Angel Hernandez, who sparked controversy with his presence in the camp of Juan Manuel Marquez for the latter’s disputed majority decision loss to Manny Pacquiao in November.
Hernandez is widely known to have a history of being involved in performance enhancing activities, having gone by his real name, Angel Heredia, in May of 2008 when he testified in a San Francisco Court that he supplied former track stars Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery with illegal substances.
Hernandez told RingTV.com that his state of the art techniques helped the 38-year-old Marquez to gain strength and weight for Pacquiao. In adddition, Hernandez said that Marquez, holder of the WBA and WBO lightweight belts, already has agreed to work with him again.
Marquez still longs for a fourth opportunity against WBO welterweight beltholder Pacquiao, whom he has also battled through a draw and a split-decision loss in two previous matchups.
Marquez is awaiting the decisions of Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum and Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, who are reportedly considering Marquez among other options for Pacquiao such as newly crowned IBF/WBA junior welterweight titlewinner Lamont Peterson, WBO junior welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley or WBA junior middleweight titleholder Miguel Cotto.
Marquez and the others have surfaced as viable alternatives in the wake of legal troubles by preferred candidate Floyd Mayweather Jr., holder of the WBC’s welterweight belt.
Mayweather is facing a 90-day jail sentence that is slated to begin on Jan. 6, a development which threatens Mayweather’s targeted return to the ring of May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas against an opponent to be determined, but who many have speculated was intended to be Pacquiao.
A graduate of Texas A&M’s exercise science program, Hernandez never was convicted of any crimes. Hernandez admitted, however, to giving the blood-booster EPO, growth hormone and insulin to Jones in 2000 at the request of her then-coach Trevor Graham, who was on trial. Heredia also sold banned substances to Montgomery.
A former competitor for Jamaica at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Graham sparked the investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) in 2003.
Controversial BALCO founder Victor Conte tweeted his knowledge of Hernandez’s past, which has since become the subject of a lawsuit filed by Hernandez for defamation of character.
Similar to Conte, who works with fighters such as Nonito Donaire and Andre Berto, Hernandez was hired by Marquez, who rode a three fight winning streak into his fourth bout with Pacquiao. Marquez’s previous defeat had come in his welterweight debut — a one-sided unanimous decision loss to Mayweather in September of 2009.