By Cliff Rold
23-year old Jr. Middleweight hopeful Demetrius Andrade (16-0, 11 KO) of Providence, Rhode Island, made easy work of a late replacement on Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. 36-year old former title challenger Angel Hernandez (30-11, 17 KO) could make it only briefly into the second round before the superior size and talent of Andrade put an end to his night. Hernandez took the fight on two days notice after Andrade’s original foe, Derek Ennis, fell out.
Both men weighed in below the division limit of 154 lbs., Andrade at 153 ½, Hernandez at 152 ½.
Andrade, towering over the 5’8 Hernandez by approximately five inches, came out in relaxed form. To call it a sparring posture wouldn’t be unfair. Pawing with his southpaw right jab, Andrade measured Hernandez and let the smaller man walk into hard hooks and uppercuts. The game Hernandez pressed, moving his hands and throwing in hopes of a shocking blow.
His left eye already blistered red, Hernandez stayed close to Andrade early in the second and ate vicious hooks and crosses for his trouble. An Andrade assault sent him to the floor, a right and left landing to the head, then another left landing as Hernandez swung wildly. Hernandez’s feet slipped from beneath him along the ring paint and the accumulation of damage was enough to rule Andrade the cause. Referee Steve Smoger began the count. Hernandez rose from his knees and nodded a willingness to continue.
He would not continue long.
Andrade measured Hernandez, set his feet, and landed a concussive left cross. Hernandez stood up as he backed away at impact, pitching forward as Andrade slipped another left to the body as his man fell. Squinting through his swollen eye, Hernandez attempted to sit up as Smoger waved the fight closed at 1:39 of the second round.
While the Hernandez win does little to propel Andrade towards contention, it doesn’t hurt his growing place in the sanctioning body ratings. Andrade is currently rated by all four of the most notable bodies; #14 by the WBC, #15 by the WBA, #12 by the IBF, and #9 by the WBO. The WBO Jr. Middleweight titlist is Zaurbek Baysangurov (26-1, 20 KO).
Andrade was a prominent member of the disappointing 2008 U.S. Olympic team. One of the top U.S. medal hopefuls after capturing the World Amateur crown at Light Middleweight in 2007, Andrade lost a controversial decision in the Beijing quarterfinals.
Hernandez drops his fourth fight in a row, second by stoppage in that stretch. Hernandez is best remembered for a spirited, if losing, title opportunity against then-Jr. Middleweight titlist Winky Wright in 2003.
The televised opener saw an undefeated prospect get off the floor to keep his “0” intact.
Over ten rounds, 22-year old Jr. Welterweight Raymond Serrano (18-0, 8 KO), 142 ½, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania used a steady jab and consistent pressure to redden the face of 27-year old Kenny Abril (11-5-1, 6 KO), 144 ½, of Rochester, New York, en route to a unanimous decision win.
It wasn’t an easy night. Abril, who came in a little heavy, used his size advantage where he could on the inside and surprised Serrano in the third. Leveling a hard southpaw jab as Serrano stepped forward, the shot landed at a perfect moment. Serrano, feet squared in transition, was deposited on the floor to hear the count of referee Dick Flaherty.
Serrano, leaning a lesson about the need for discipline in attack, was unhurt and quickly collected himself. The closing scores 95-94 and 97-92 twice were well earned as Serrano used more varied offense and quicker hands to rack up points from there.
Serrano takes a small step towards the hope of contention in the tough 140 lb. weight class.
Also televised, Jr. Lightweight Emanuel Gonzalez (10-0, 7 KO), 129 ¾, of New York continued his early roll with an easy four round decision over 30-year old Jesus Baryon (5-4, 4 KO), 134, of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Scores tallied at a shutout 40-36 and 39-37 twice. The referee was Steve Smoger.
The card was televised in the U.S. on ESPN2 as part of its “Friday Night Fights” series, promoted by Star Boxing.
Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]