On Friday's "New Blood" co-feature, fast charging bantamweight Mario Hernandez (7-0, 3 KOs) of Santa Ana, Calif. meets Ivan Gonzalez (4-1-1, 1 KO) of Mexico City, Mex. in what projects to be an all action fight set for 6-rounds.
The undefeated Hernandez is coming off an impressive, unanimous decision win over the previously unbeaten Jonah Flores in July.
Hernandez, 27, sat down with Thompson Boxing and talked about becoming a father at age 16, his full-time career at UC Irvine, and what fans can expect from him on Friday night.
Boxing runs in your family. Your dad and uncles boxed. Your dad had plans for you to get in the ring when you were in high school, but an unexpected development delayed that. Talk us through what happened.
"When I was 16, I got my girlfriend pregnant. She was 15 at the time and we were forced to grow up pretty quickly. I didn't really have time to go to the gym and learn how to box because of this new found responsibility. That part of my life was on pause. We were fortunate in that we had tremendous amount of help from both of our families. Without their support, things would have been a lot different and I might never have gotten the chance to box."
[Hernandez would later marry his girlfriend Stephanie and they would have another child. They have an 11-year-old girl and a boy who is four-years old].
By 21, you still had the itch to get inside the ring and pursue a career in boxing. How excited were you to launch this new chapter in your life?
"I was really pumped to finally do it. By then my daughter was nearly six and my wife Stephanie and I had already obtained our associates degrees from Santa Ana College so we were in a better place financially. It made sense to pursue the dream of being a pro boxer. I've loved the sport ever since I was little so I'm having a great time with it."
A lot of boxers that are just starting their careers supplement their boxing income by working full-time. You work in the parking and transportation department at UC Irvine. How do you manage two careers simultaneously?
"Working full-time adds a lot of structure to my life. I'm lucky that I work an early shift at UC Irvine. I come in at 6 a.m. and leave by 2:30 p.m. Once I'm done, I head straight to the gym [TKO Boxing] and I'm there from 3-6 p.m. It requires a lot of sacrifice on my part in that the hours that I'm at the gym I could be spending it with my family. That's really the toughest part, being away from your wife and kids."
On Friday night's opponent, Ivan Gonzalez.
"I try to focus on the game plan and do what I need to do to win. The plan is to put the pressure early. Start to the body early and break him down every round. I need to make him feel my punches. More than anything I love to put on a show for the fans. I want to keep them coming back. I'll never be in a boring fight. My style is too aggressive and I think fans respect that about me."
Tickets for "New Blood" are priced at $40, $60, & $100, and are available for purchase by calling 714-935-0900, or online at ThompsonBoxing.com.
Surging super middleweight Brandon Robinson won his 11th straight bout as he took out Ernest Amuzu in round three of their scheduled eight-round bout that headlined a nine-bout card this past Friday night at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
The spectacular show was promoted by King's Promoted and was streamed live all over the world on Facebook Fight Night Live. -Note--The show can be viewed by clicking here.
Robinson of Upper Darby, PA bided his time until in round three, when he landed a nice body shot that drove Amuzu into the corner. That set up a furious flurry by Robinson. Robinson rocked Amuzu several times until he was defenseless, and the bout was stopped at 2:04.
Robinson is now 11-1 with eight stoppages. Amuzu of Prichard, Alabama is 24-4.
"It was a good fight. Ernest Amuzu came to fight, and he was a worthy opponent. We work hard in the gym and the reward is even better," said Robinson. "The finish came from a jab, and then I touched the body a couple of times. We started to wear him out, and that was that. A knockout is always great. I want to fight Derrick Webster for the number-five spot in the IBF. It is nothing personal just business. I know that I can beat him."
In the exciting co-feature, Terrel Williams registered three knockdowns en-route to a ten-round unanimous decision over David Grayton in a welterweight contest.
Williams scored a knockdown in round one from a perfectly placed right hand. A round later, it was another straight right that put the southpaw Grayton the canvas. Garyton began to mount a comeback in the middle rounds as he tried to will himself back into the fight.
In round six, Williams gained back the momentum as yet another right hand sent Grayton down. That knockdown seemed to actually fuel Grayton as he did his best work over the next few rounds. Williams came back to have a good round ten and came home home with the victory by scores of 98-90, 98-89 and 97-92.
Williams of Los Angeles, California is now 17-0. Grayton of Washington. D.C. is 15-3-1.
Three-time Olympian, Anvar Yunusov was impressive as he dropped Angel Monreal twice in round one, and got the stoppage win at 2:39 of that opening frame,
Yunusov scored both of those knockdowns with hard left hands, with the finishing blow being a left that sent Monreal plummeting to the deck.
Yunusov of Tajikistan who now resides in Philadelphia is 5-0 with two knockouts. Monreal of Monterrey, Mexico is 10-11-1.
Alejandro Jimenez won a four-round unanimous decision over Jerrod Miner in a bantamweight bout.
Jimenez of New Hope, PA won by scores of 40-36 on all cards, and is now 3-0. Miner of Philadelphia is 1-2-1.
Keeshawn Williams won a four-round unanimous decision over Farhad Fatulla in a welterweight contest.
Williams was the quicker and more skilled fighter, who flashed a piston jab that cut the left eye of Fatulla. Williams won by 40-36 scores on all cards.
Williams of Washington, D.C. is 3-0-1. Fatulla of Salt Lake City, Utah is 1-2.
Daiyann Butt remained undefeated by winning a four-round unanimous decision over Anthony Smith in a junior welterweight fight.
Butt of Philadelphia won by scores of 40-36 on all cards, and is now 2-0. Smith of Fresno, California is 1-3.
Yueri Andujar made an impressive pro debut by taking out previously undefeated Crystian Peguero in the 3rd round of their scheduled four-round featherweight bout.
Andujar used his height to land wicked combinations that hurt Peguero throughout the contest.
The fight culminated in round three when Andujar landed a booming uppercut that rocked Peguero. With Peguero hurt, Andujar landed three more crushing shots, and the bout was stopped at 2:06.
Andujar of Reading, PA is 1-0 with one knockout. Peguero of Philadelphia is 2-1.
James Bernadin made a successful pro debut with a 3rd round stoppage over Christopher Burgos in a super featherweight battle.
In round two, Burgos began to bleed under his left eye. In round three, Bernadin landed a right-left combination that was followed by a booming right to the head that dropped Burgos. Burgos got to his feet, but wobbled and the fight was stopped at 2:19.
Bernadin of Lancaster, PA is 1-0 with one knockout. Burgos of Philadelphia is 1-3-1.
Shyngyskhan Tazhibay remained perfect by winning a four-round unanimous decision over Justin Johnson in a welterweight bout.
Tazhibay of Washington, D.C. won by scores of 40-36 and 39-37 twice, and is now 7-0. Johnson of Pittsburgh, took the fight on one day notice is 6-18-6.
The 32nd edition of Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing's "Rockin' Fights" pits two of The Paramount's most popular rising prospects against each other in a battle for the ABO INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE, when DANNY "EL GALLO" GONZALEZ (Woodhaven, NY 16-1-1 7KO's) bids for his ninth win at The Paramount against, JOHNNY "HITMAN" HERNANDEZ (Huntington, NY 9-3 1KO), also seeking his ninth win in his hometown venue. Along with this much anticipated main event, Star Boxing announces an undercard of prospects with amateur accolade, that is sure to set the table for a great main event.
Returning to The Paramount almost one year to the date of his last bout at the venue, "ACTION" ANTHONY LAUREANO (East Hartford, CT 8-0 3KO's) will take on tough Texan, MARQUIS HAWTHORNE (5-8-1 1KO). Hawthorne poses a great test for Laureano, who was honored as the 2017 New England Boxing Prospect of the Year; as a taller fighter with great reach, Laureano will look to close the distance and score on the inside. Laureano looks to continue his rise in the 140 lb. weight class with another impressive outing on September 21st.
In a battle of the pro-debut's, JARED BONILLA (Belmore, NY Pro-Debut) will take on JOSE MAYSONET (Hartford, CT Pro-Debut) in a 4-round, super lightweight bout. Bonilla was a 2014 New York State Golden Gloves, 141 lb. novice class finalist. Over the past year, Bonilla has challenged himself by training and sparring with Star Boxing's rising star, Tyrone "Pretty Boy" James. Maysonet, traveling from Hartford, enters his pro-debut willing to leave everything in the ring to earn his first professional win.
23 year old, ALEX VARGAS (Bellport, NY Pro-Debut) will make his pro-debut at "Rockin' Fights 32". In 2013, at the age of 17, Vargas found himself under the bright lights of the Barclay's Center, where he won the New York Daily News Golden Gloves at the 165 lb. division. Vargas had this to say about is pro-debut, "I can't wait to get in the ring and show people what I can do." Vargas will step in with DERRON LAWSON (Philadelphia, PA 0-1) who returns to The Paramount coming off a majority decision loss at "Rockin' Fights". Vargas vs Lawson will be a 4-round welterweight bout.
SHAUN KENNEDY (Huntington, NY 0-0-1 ND) returns to his backyard at The Paramount to take on PEREZ AUGHTRY (Buffalo, NY Pro Debut) in a 4-round, cruiserweight scrap. After receiving a no decision in his first outing at The Paramount at "Rockin' Fights 29", in January, Kennedy returns with vengeance eyeing the first win of his pro career against Aughtry, who is seeking to put an end to Kennedy's homecoming with a win of his own.