By Jordan Moskowitz
BoxingScene.com has been advised that Nico Hernandez, who won a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics for the United States in the light flyweight division, is going to officially turn pro on December 10th in Omaha, as part of the undercard to Terence Crawford's scheduled defense of the WBC/WBO junior welterweight titles against John Molina.
Hernandez brought home the United States' first Olympic men's boxing medal since the 2008 Beijing games.
20-year-old Hernandez, of Wichita, Kansas, is trained by his father Lewis Hernandez.
At the 2016 American Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he won the silver medal in the men's flyweight division. He defeated Argentina’s Leandro Blanc in the semifinals to secure his place in the Olympic competition and advanced to the final to face Yuberjen Martinez of Colombia.
Entering Rio games, Hernandez—a virtual unknown in boxing—weighed in at 108 pounds, entering the Men's light flyweight division. Not expected to win, his unexpected Olympic victories created a stir in the boxing community. For the first time since 1980, protective headgear would not be worn by Olympic boxers during their matches. This would become a problem for Hernandez in his final fight.
In his first fight, he beat favorite Manuel Cappai of Italy, and then in his second fight he stunned Russia's Vasili Egorov, a silver medalist of the last world championship and the defending European champion. In his third fight, he overcame Carlos Quipo Pilataxi of Ecuador.
But in the fourth bout, he collided with Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan. An accidental clash of heads opened up a cut on Hernandez and affected him throughout the fight as Dusmatov won a decision. Dusmatov praised Hernandez after the series was over and said it was his toughest fight of the games.