This time last week we were all sharing our disappointment and frustrations at Mexican fighter Luis Nery (30-0, 24), and how he had missed weight, again, forcing the cancellation of his highly anticipated bout with Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12). The bout, supposed world title eliminator, was one of the best match ups for the weekend, but again unprofessionalism reared it's head in Nery's career, something that has come up time and time again.
Heading into his August 2017 bout with Shinsuke Yamanaka, Nery was touted as one of the new stars of Mexican boxing. The 22 year old hard hitting southpaw was exciting, powerful and a full of confidence. He had a rather arrogant and yet charming personality, a real charisma and oozed that rare quality that makes him a must watch fighter. His win over Yamanaka in that bout, dethroning a long reigning world champion widely regarded as the #1 in the division should have been the performance that kicked off a huge career as a Mexican boxing icon. Instead it revealed something we didn't know about Nery. He was unprofessional ass hole.
A pre-fight drug test, taken almost a month before the fight, revealed he had taken Zilpaterol, which was similar to Clenbuterol, and would have helped him make weight. The WBC, at the time, were doing a song and dance routine about their WBC Clean Boxing Program. It was a chance for the WBC to shine, and show they were serious about drug cheats, something we now know they aren't. Instead of stripping Nery and slapping him with a lengthy ban they essentially told him off with words.
They excused his actions, they ordered a rematch with Yamanaka and ordered him to have a nutritionist. They let him keep the title, and pretty did nothing other than say "fight the guy you cheated against again"... A rematched happened only a few months later and once again Nery won under a shroud of controversy, coming in well over the limit. Yamanaka and Teiken should have told Nery to fuck off. Go back to Mexico and with your tail tucked between your legs. Instead they went on with the fight, with Yamanaka desperate to recover the title that had been taken from him, a title the WBC should have handed back when Nery's positive test came back.
For missing weight he was given an indefinite ban by the JBC, who pushed the WBC to give a real punishment. Sources in Japan reported that the JBC were close to completely cutting ties with the WBC over the situation if they didn't punish Nery in some way, cutting off a major market for the WBC.
In the end the WBC essentially suspended Nery for 6 month. A pointless ban in today's boxing environment where world class fighters fight every 6 months or so. That ban was backed dated to the day of the weigh in, and came with the caveat that he had to pay for a nutritionist for those 6 months.
Since then Nery has been unable to keep his weight under control.
He originally failed to make weigh for his 2019 clash with Juan Carlos Payano, needing to lose 0.5lbs after originally missing weight. He managed it, but it was another example of his unprofessional behaviour, the behaviour that had seen him banned in Japan.
Just over a week ago he came in at 119lbs for the bout with Rodriguez. Typically a fighter who misses weight by 1lbs will try again, after going and sweating off some excess water weight. Nery said fuck that and refused.
Thankfully Rodriguez did the right thing and said no to the fight. He said no to Nery. He said no to someone who had been able to get away with being an unprofessional. He, Rodriguez, made it clear that he is not willing to fight someone who needs an unfair advantage to face him. It was about time that someone said no to Nery and it leaves so many questions about Nery and his career going forward.
It's clear the Mexican can no longer make Bantamweight on a consistent basis. He might be able to make it, but at what cost?
In Japan Daigo Higa was unable was unable to make Flyweight to defend his WBC title against Cristofer Rosales. The JBC put their foot down, even though Higa was a rising star, and gave him an indefinite suspension and refused to let him fight at Flyweight again. The WBA did something similar when Guillermo Jones had failed a test for Furosemide, a diuretic, and then missed the Cruiserweight limit, refusing to back him for any fights at Cruiserweight.
It's now time the WBC do the right thing. If Nery wants to fight again he can. But first he should be punished, this isn't a one off act but a trend of behaviour over the last few yeas, a repeated trend of treating the sport with contempt. After being punished, with what needs to be a lengthy global ban, the fighter shouldn't be given any more opportunities at Bantamweight, and that's partly for his own health.
Whilst we would like to see boxing taking a real stance on cheats, both drugs and weight cheats, the sport it's self seems to accept both as part of it's make up. It's now time boxing comes clean, says "fuck Luis Nery, fuck cheats" and finally puts it's foot down. No more sweeping things under the carpet, no more looking at the drug testing bodies to do the job that the sport needs to do. It's now time boxing, it's promoters and it's fans make a statement. We need to stop tuning in to see cheats. If we don't do that then we need to protest during fights.
Fans attending future bouts of fighters like Jarrell Miller, if Miller fights on the under-card of a bigger show, should vocally express how bullshit should be treated in the sport and boo throughout the fight. Support the show by all means, but not the particular fighter. Similar with Nery, when he returns to the ring....likely in 3 months time in another WBC world title eliminator, fans should boo the fight, if not boycott it all together.
We need to make it clear that we don't want cheats in our sport any more!
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces