Niles West Alum Mario Herrera Takes on Boxing


Herrera with his boxing gloves.

By John Przekota, Staff Writer

After growing up in Skokie, Illinois and a Niles West Alumni Mario Herrera is now an up-and-coming boxing star, who is well on the path to fame in the boxing world. Herrera started his boxing career with a hot start with a record of six to zero. Four of those wins from knocking out his opponent. 

While attending Niles West Herrera played football, “I coached Mario in football, he was an extremely hard worker who spent a lot of time in the weight room.” said social studies teacher, Scott Baum. In order to compete in such a hard sport, having work ethic is the key to success. Herrera has definitely showcased that value as he played football at Robert Morris University.

Mario was very dedicated and passionate about athletics and connected well with coaches and mentors.  It is no surprise that the same level of dedication and focus would lead to success in boxing,” said Herrera’s former counselor, Andrew Johnson. Herrera’s work ethic was noticed and felt by everyone.

Herrera credits his work ethic to his mother. “My mom has always been the one that has given [me] reasons to succeed. She sparked the fire and keeps it lit even when it gets windy. My mom is who keeps me going. That’s where I get my ‘keep on fighting’ mentality from and what she has done to give us what we have now is why she deserves the universe. But I also can not forget to say myself, because at the end of the day I am my own person and if I do not want it bad enough, it will show someday and that is not what I am here for,” Herrera said. 

Herrera no doubt can be a world champion one day if he surrounds himself with the correct people and supporters.

“Fernando Perez, former strength and condition coach at Niles West was the person who was able to get me into a boxing gym, with the knowledge he had about myself, he believed and understood where I could go with boxing and here we are going to take over,” Herrera said.

Herrera believes that without the belief Perez had in him, he would not be where he is right now in the boxing world. After a very strong fight Saturday, May 7th, against Tomas Haney, Herrera had a first-round knock on Haney.

As Herrera’s success grows he wants to give back to Niles West. “For giving back I have different ideas. Now that summertime is about a week or two away for you guys. I’m launching a 30 for 30 summer challenge. This is a challenge for anyone who is willing to become a better version of themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally. This is a one-month summer challenge that sequences into the rest of the summer. This will consist of daily workouts, activities, and a meal plan structure that should be followed. Registrations can be done in person or through social media DMS. The fee is $7 with proof of returning to the school [in] 2022-2023. The $7 registration will cover, a meal plan structure, a “package” with “goodies”, such as; protein, pre-workout, a pen,  a notebook to keep track of workouts, and a t-shirt.”

Registration opens May 17th.