Hernandez Wows Primm, NV
Crowd With TKO Over Anchondo
Report By Robert Jones
Photos: William Trillo
An amped up crowd piled
into the Desert of the Star Arena at Buffalo Bill’s
Resort and Casino in Primm, NV to watch top
welterweights duke it out on the Showtime ShoBox: The
New Generation card Friday night. The crowd was close to
even on the one they were rooting for, but at the end of
the night it was the fans of Freddy Hernandez (29-1 20
KO’s) cheering the loudest.
Hernandez entered the fight ranked the 11th ranked
fighter in the WBC’s welterweight division, but after a
resounding victory over contender “Mighty” Mike Anchondo
(30-3 19 KO’s), he will most likely be moving up those
rankings, and likely those of the other major
sanctioning bodies, too.
Anchondo was noticeably the smaller man, as the two
fighters heard the referee’s final instructions in the
center of the ring just prior to the start of the match.
From the start of the fight it was clear Hernandez would
enjoy his five inch height and eight inch reach
advantages. The first round was the best of the fight
for Anchondo, as he successfully got in and out, landing
successful body shots to Hernandez’s mid-section. Even
though Anchondo won the round, you could see that
Hernandez was pawing his jab in order to gauge distance
for his right hand later in the fight.
Anchondo again started off the second round well,
landing a right hand in the center of the ring, but in
the second half of this round the tide changed for good.
Hernandez landed a right hand that stunned Anchondo, but
Anchondo recovered quickly. In just a couple of rounds
he wasn’t so lucky. Anchondo continued to use a swarming
style to get in and land some solid combinations, but
because of him getting caught with the big blow, it was
clearly a Hernandez round.
In the third round the Anchondo crowd tried to get
behind their man, chanting “Mighty Mike” as it was clear
he had an uphill battle. Hernandez seemed to come to the
decision that Anchondo couldn’t hurt him, and he became
the aggressor for the first time in the fight. Anchondo
continued to throw combinations, but more and more
Hernandez started finding his range. To make matters
worse for Anchondo, he suffered an accidental thumb to
the eye just as the bell rang to end the round.
Thirty seconds into round four, Hernandez landed a
straight right that stunned Anchondo badly. Hernandez
then landed another right, dropping Anchondo. Anchondo
was up quickly, permitting referee Robert Byrd to allow
him to continue. Anchondo couldn’t get his legs under
him, but to his credit he continued throwing punches.
Hernandez landed another punch, which sent Anchondo
wobbling to the corner. Byrd quickly stepped in, ending
the fight at 1:38 of the fourth round.
With the victory, Hernandez gets one step closer to a
major fight in the welterweight division. Anchondo, who
seems terribly undersized to be a competitor on the top
level of the division, contemplates his next move.
In the opening televised
bout, Luis Franco improved to 7-0 with 5 KO’s with a
comfortable unanimous decision against Wilton Hilario
(12-2-1 9 KO’s). Hilario’s best offense in the first
three rounds came by a variety of low blows and head
butts. In the first round Hilario was warned for both a
head butt and a low blow. Hilario was again warned for a
head butt and a low blow. From media row it even
appeared that in one series Hilario openly charged with
his head, in which referee Jay Nady agreed. Finally in
the third round Hilario landed his first non-illegal
effective blow of the evening, a body shot, only to
immediately follow that with another low blow, this time
costing him a point. For the remaining five rounds
Hilario behaved himself, for the most part.
Despite the ugly fight, Franco still had plenty of time
to show flashes of brilliance, throwing dazzling
combinations that left the crowd “ooohing” and “ahhing”.
In addition to his offensive wizardry, he also showed
great head movement in getting out of the way of
Hilario’s sometimes looping shots.
After the first three foul-contested rounds, the fight
settled down into a competitive boxing match. Hilario
was never totally outclassed, but just didn’t have
enough offense to win too many rounds, winning just one
on the Pound4Pound scorecard. The judges agreed with the
Pound4Pound card, for the most part, scoring the fight:
80-71, 78-73, and 77-74.
Despite only 8 fights, Franco is looking to move up the
Super Featherweight rankings in short order. After
nearly 400 career amateur bouts, including wins against
Guillermo Rigondeaux, Erislandy Lara, and Yuriorkis
Gamboa (all undefeated in the pros), it seemingly makes
sense that he is looking for big fights soon.
The knockout of the
night award goes to Anthony Dirrell (19-0 16 KO’s).
Dirrell, hoping to make up for lost time due to
illnesses, came one stop closer to joining his brother
among the elite super middleweights with a first round
knockout of Jimmy Campbell (11-5 8 KO’s). In the very
first round Dirrell landed a straight right that dazed
his opponent long enough for him to follow that show
with a left hook that sending his opponent hard to the
canvas. Campbell was on his feet right at the count
reached ten, but was in no shape to continue.
Chris Avalos continued
to rebound from his first career loss, defeating Felipe
Almanza by third round TKO. Almanza, 17-18-4 8 KO’s,
seemed to have little interest in fighting this evening.
In the first round he was warned for a low blow, one of
the few punches he threw in the round. In the second he
spent most of the time moving laterally around the ring.
Again, the only meaningful punch he threw this round was
a low blow, earning another warning. Almanza was hurt by
a body shot in the third, and took a knee. Almanza spent
the next few seconds complaining to referee Robert Byrd
that he thought it was a low blow. Byrd continually
asked him if he wanted to continue. Almanza continued to
complain and Byrd, having enough of the theatrics,
stopped the fight, awarding Avalos his 17th win in 18
fights, including his 14th win inside the distance.
In women’s action, Lucia
Larcinese (4-7) dropped a six-round decision to Crystal
Hoy (4-2-2 KO’s). The first half of the fight was a
tactical battle, with both fighters throwing just one or
two punches at a time. In the second half of the fight
the action picked up, with Hoy winning the majority of
the exchanges. The judges scored it 60-54 twice, and
Emmanuel Medina improved
to 3-0 with 3 KO’s with a third round KO over Raul
Gonzalez-Duhart (2-3 2 KO’s).
In the opening bout of
the evening, Joel Diaz moved to 2-0 1 KO, with a
four-round unanimous decision over Hugo Ramos, now 3-7-2
1 KO. Ramos was dropped in the second, en route to
losing by scores of 40-34 and 40-35, twice.