When I called strength and conditioning coordinator Angel “Memo” Hernandez (aka Angel Heredia) a couple weeks ago, I wondered what kind of person I’d be talking to. Was he the guy former BALCO associate Victor Conte (a former PED peddler himself) constantly bashes on Twitter for being a crook? Or was he, as he claims, just a man who had cleaned up his act?
“Hold on,” he said to me on the phone the minute he picked up. “I’m in Nevada and they have cell phone laws over here. Let me pull over. Call me in five minutes.”
Indeed, a few minutes later I was chatting with the man who perhaps most famously -- at least by boxing’s standards -- helped welterweight Juan Manuel Marquez (pictured at right with Heredia) build his 38-year-old body into the Manny Pacquiao-decapitating form we saw last December.
To begin, I asked him what he thinks about Conte.
“To be honest with you, one of my least concerns is him,” he told me. “He doesn’t possess a single college degree and yet calls himself a nutritionist. I just think that’s being a con artist. Putting that aside though, I think there is a lot of jealousy. He’s put himself as the Godfather of cleaning up the sport and trying to redeem himself from what he did in the past.”
If you follow either or both men on Twitter, you probably know Conte has made no bones about calling Hernandez out as a cheat. He does this repeatedly. The two argue back and forth almost daily, and even bring their own fans into the fray at times to help plead their cause.
Hernandez said it was, and continues to be, Conte who engages him first.
“It kind of surprises me that a guy like that who calls himself very smart is acting like a little kid, sitting behind a computer and making things up with no proof,” said Hernandez. “He tells everyone that every boxer I work with, that I supply them drugs and all this kind of stuff. It’s very childish. I don’t think anything positive about him at all.”no comments