By Jake Donovan, Francisco Salazar
In what has to go down as one of the biggest upsets of 2016, Andrew Hernandez turned in a career-best performance in a stunningly dominant 10-round win over previously unbeaten Arif Magomedov.
Scores were 100-89 (twice) and 98-91 in favor of Hernandez in their middleweight main event battle Saturday evening at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The CBS Sports Network-televised headliner was intended as means for Magomedov (17-1, 11KOs) to remain active while in pursuit of a title fight down the road. Hernandez (12-4-1) brought an abrupt end to that dream while living one of his own. The full-time landscaper from Phoenix constantly puzzled his Russian foe, beating him to the punch and always making sure to fire back even when under attack.
An exclamation point was put on the performance in the 10th and final round, when Hernandez floored Magomedov late in the fight and had him in deep trouble as the bout came to a close.
Magomedov was world ranked by all of the major sanctioning bodies, but suffers a major setback in a fight where he was a massive 50-1 betting favorite.
"This fight changes everything for me," Hernandez proclaimed. "He's very good and deserves all of the accolades he's received but I now have my head on straight and I'm focused. My jab was very important tonight. He's very strong but I wanted to fight him inside because I knew he couldn't take it from me. I was very prepared. I think I may have broken my ankle in the fourth round but I kept going. I wanted to finish him, get the knockout, but he's a very tough fighter. He has heart and showed why he has all of those accolades."
In a battle of southpaw junior middleweights, John Vera stopped Joey Ruelas in the sixth round of an eight round bout.
Both fighters had their moments during the fight. Vera did well initiating exchanges while Ruelas attempted to counter with left hands to the head.
The action continued until the sixth round when Vera stunned Ruelas with a right hooks to the head. Vera followed up with two left hands, prompting referee Jay Nady to step in and stop the fight at 1:45. Ruelas protested the stoppage, believing he was able to continue.
Vera retains his regional title belt and improves to 14-0, 9 KOs, while Ruelas drops to 10-2-1, 4 KOs.
In the opening bout of the 'Knockout Night at the D' broadcast on CBS Sports Network, former amateur standout and lightweight Devin Haney stopped Jairo Vargas Fernandez in the fourth round.
Haney, who is currently a high school junior, was the busier fighter, outboxing Vargas Fernandez throughout most of the fight. Haney dropped Fernandez with a left-right combination during the fourth round, prompting referee Jay Nady to wave the fight over at 1:34.
Haney goes to 6-0, 4 KOs, while Vargas Fernandez falls to 4-1, 3 KO.s
In a non-televised bout, junior featherweight Juan Antonio Lopez (11-1, 4 KOs) scored an emphatic second round knockout over Jerren Cochran (11-1-1, 4 KOs). A right dropped Cochran to the canvas, who remained facedown on the canvas for several moments before eventually getting up on his power. Lopez scored two knockdowns in the opening round.