By Ryan Maquiñana
Super middleweight Andrew Hernandez’s Nov. 10 technical knockout win over Rudy Puga Jr. is in danger of being changed to a no-contest after the winner’s prefight drug test revealed excessive levels of testosterone.
Hernandez, from Phoenix, Ariz., scored a second-round stoppage of Puga on Top Rank’s Vanes Martirosyan-Erislandy Lara undercard at the Las Vegas Wynn Resort. However, it was later discovered that Hernandez’s testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio surpassed the 6-to-1 cutoff allowed in Nevada.
“He did show elevated testosterone levels,” NSAC executive director Keith Kizer told BoxingScene.com/CSNBayArea.com about Hernandez’s drug test. “[The ratio] was somewhere between 10-to-1 and 20-to-1. We’re still trying to get a quantitative number on that. [Hernandez] will have time to respond to the allegations and the commission will have a hearing.”
Puga, a native of Salinas, Calif., signed with Top Rank earlier this year and won his first bout with the promotional giant, a second-round knockout of Thomas Turner in July.
“Top Rank and [matchmaker] Brad Goodman told me about what happened,” said Rudy Puga Sr., who is Rudy Jr.’s father and trainer. Goodman confirmed the news with BoxingScene.com/CSNBayArea.com via email.
“Fighters put their lives on the line whenever they get in the ring, and this is my son out there. I hope the commission bans [Hernandez] for life,” Puga Sr. added.
Hernandez's publicist, Emily Pandelakis, issued a statement:
“We can't really comment until Andrew is able to appear in front of the commission. We are all shocked at the news...Andrew is a good kid, does a ton of work in the community with valley homeless and at-risk kids, and he's always been a humble, hardworking fighter. Hopefully in the near future, he can get back to those things.”
As it stands currently, Hernandez’s record is 5-0-1 with one knockout, while Puga is 3-1 with three knockouts. If the failed drug test is upheld and the result is changed into a no-contest, Hernandez’s ledger would revert to 4-0-1, and Puga's to 3-0 with three knockouts.
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.