The professional, the one built mentally a certain way, understands that on any given night, it might not go his way.
That isn’t pondered excessively, fixated upon.
But the understanding is there.
So, if and when a loss comes, the ego isn’t crushed beyond repair.
This sort of professional isn’t thinking he’s bullet proof. He’s confident but knows any and every man has limitations that can be glaringly apparent on any given night.
That night was Saturday for Hugo Centeno, the California middleweight who had the look of someone who was going to flip the script during fight week. He wasn’t flustered by the intensity of Jermall Charlo, wasn’t going into a shell when he saw the glowering Manson lamps of Jermall and Jermell.
And that mindset showed itself to good effect in round one of the interim WBC middleweight title fight at Barclays Center and on Showtime.
“I started off boxing very well and showed that I could outbox him, then the second round came and I shied away from the game plan,” Centento, age 27, told me Monday. “He caught me with a punch and I went to give it back and got into a scuffle, then the (head) butt (hit his left cheek), then came the combination. I took the first one well and the hook came a bit over my guard and I just missed the catch and he caught me on the temple.”
And two days later, sure, it stings. But the world keeps turning. The check cleared, the sun popped up again. Friends and family still love him, win or lose.
One more thing…the Charlo power. Was it what he expected…or was it of a higher grade than he assumed coming in?
“No excuses, I came prepared for the whole 12 and if the opportunity came again,” Centeno insists, warrior spirit slightly bowed by unbroken, “I would fight him and his brother! But much respect for Jermall, always give it where it’s due!”
Follow Woods on Twitter, for coverage of the Danny Jacobs-Maciej Sulecki/Matchroom fightweek, leading to fight night Saturday in Brooklyn