Wichita hero and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, Nico Hernandez, dominated Jose “Mexican Diablo” Rodriguez in last night’s “KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire” main event, which aired on CBS Sports Network live from Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.
“KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire” was a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC. TITLE Boxing is the official apparel and gloves partner for Knockout Night Boxing.
The 21-year-old Hernandez (2-0, 2 KOs) came out fast, rapidly firing combinations that consistently landed to his opponent’s head and body. Hernandez was as electric in the ring as the sky outside, battering the over-matched Rodriguez, finally dropping him midway through the second round.
The extremely sharp Hernandez floored Rodriguez again in the third with a right-left combination but the tough Mexican rose again. The onslaught continued briefly as the Olympian pounded Rodriguez (2-1, 2 KOs), knocking him down for the third time and final time as referee Kevin Champion counted him out at 2:38.
“I came out with a victory, it can’t get better than that,” Hernandez said after the fight. “I put him down a few times. I was happy with my performance. I was trying to get out of her to celebrate with my family and friends.
“I didn’t expect him to keep coming, getting up and still coming forward. I’ll talk to my promoter and coaches and see what’s next.”
Local favorite Noel Esqueda (7-3-2, 5 KOs), of Wichita, was unable to handle Mexican junior middleweight Limberth “El Gallito” Ponce (13-3, 9 KOs), fighting out of Quad Cities (IL), in the co-featured event The two fighters fought mostly on the inside as Ponce effectively landed overhand rights on his way to a six-round unanimous decision,
Kansas featherweight rivals Eric Vargas (3-0, 1 KO), of Garden City, and Winfield’s pro-debuting Humberto “Tito” Tellez (0-1) had fans screaming from start to finish in an entertaining match. The stronger Vargas outworked the game Tellez through most of their action-packed fight to earn a hard-fought win by four-round majority decision.
In the television opener, pro-debuting Kansas super middleweights Eddie Chavez (0-1), of Wichita, and Garden City’s Luis Fernando Juanez Jasso (1-0, 1 KO) went toe-to-toe from the opening bell until there was one minute left in the opening round, when Jasso suddenly dropped Chavez with a punishing right. Chavez beat the count but he was hurting. Jasso trapped Chavez on the ropes and unloaded seven unanswered punch until Chavez took a knee and referee Champion immediately stepped in to stop the fight.
Pro-debuting Brian Clements (0-0-1), fighting out of Topeka (KS), and Garden City veteran Bryant Montalvo (1-9-1) fought to a four-round draw in a back-and-forth contest.
Winfield (KS) light heavyweight “The Prince” Juan Hollingsworth (1-0-1, 1 KO) and pro-debuting Matt Dixon (0-0-1), of Tulsa (OK), fought to an entertaining four-round split draw in the opening bout of the evening.
Complete results below:
(all winners listed first))
MAIN EVENT — FLYWEIGHTS
Nico Hernandez (2-0, 2 KOs), Wichita, KS
Jose Rodriguez (2-1, 2 KOs), Markesan, WI
CO-FEATURE – JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHTS
Limberth Ponce (13-3, 9 KOs), Rock Island, IL
WDEC6 (60-54, 58-56, 58-56)
Noel Esqueda (7-4-2, 5 KOs), Wichita, KS
Juan Hollingsworth (1-0-1, 1 KO), Winfield, KS
D4 (39037, 37-39, 38-38)
Matt Dixon (0-0-1, 0 KO), Tulsa, OK.
Luis Fernando Juanez Jasso (1-0, 1 KO), Garden City, KS
Eddie Chavez (0-1, 0 KO), Wichita, KS.
Brian Clements (0-0-1), Topeka, KS
Bryant Montalvo (1-9-1, 1 KO), Garden City, KS.
Eric Vargas (3-0, 1 KO), Garden City, KS
WDEC4 (40-36, 39-37, 38-38)
Humberto Tellez (0-1), Winfield, KS