PARK CITY, Kan. (February 11, 2018) – U.S. Olympian and hometown
Hernandez* captured the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA)
Americas flyweight title in his fourth professional fight, headlining last
night’s “KO Night Boxing” Gold & Glory” card, at Hartman Arena in Park
Presented by “KO Night Boxing LLC,” the card was taped live to be shown at
a later date on CBS Sports Network. “KO Night Boxing” Gold & Glory” card,
presented by KO Night Boxing LLC,
The 22-year-old Hernandez (4-0, 3 KOs) stopped last-minute replacement, game
*Victor “El Torito” Torres*, in the fifth round. Hernandez’ original
opponent, Hungarian champion *Joseph Ajtai* (19-9, 12 KOs), never made it
to Wichita due to a series of unfortunate circumstances. Ajtai lost one day
in Frankfurt, Germany, after leaving his passport on the plane he took from
Budapest. Once he landed in Chicago on Wednesday, he was tied up by a visa
issue at U.S. Customs. He missed his connecting flight to Wichita and
because of snowstorms that grounded numerous flights, including those to
Wichita, Ajtai never made it out of O’Hare Airport, stranded there for
The IBA granted a special exception for Hernandez to fight Torres, due to
these unforeseen problems, with the agreement that Hernandez would next
fight Ajtai for an IBA title.
“It was an electric night,” promoter *John Andersen* said. “Once again,
Nico made the proper adjustment that can be credited to his amateur
pedigree. In the amateurs, opponents often change at the last moment and
Nico has overcome many obstacles during his boxing career. We’re going to
give Josef another title shot against Nico in April or May. They have
unfinished business together!
“I was very pleased with Nico’s performance. It’s the best I’ve seen him.
He was unbelievable in every way, on point throughout the fight. We also
want to give Torres credit for accepting the fight on such late notice.”
Hernandez came out fast from the start, battering Torres’ body with
tremendous combinations, and he never let up. Torres absorbed punishment
but remained upright, but IBA referee *Steve Smoger* halted the action in
the fifth round for Torres’ safety.
“I’m not leaving this belt,” Hernandez commented at the post fight press
conference as he handled his IBA Americas belt. “It’s going everywhere with
me. I was looking forward to this fight and I’m ready to continue my
success. This is the first (title belt) of many. I got what I worked hard
for. I want to thank my coaches, all the work paid off, and now I have this
In the co-featured event, Minneapolis welterweight *Javonte Starks* (13-2,
7 KOs) and Mexican veteran *Cesar Soriano* (28-36-2, 17 KOs) fought to a
six-round majority draw.
Bakersfield, CA pro-debuting *Derrick Clayton* upset Milwaukee junior
welterweight *Akeem Black* (3-2, 1 KO), registering a second-round
Wichita middleweight *Jeff Sturm* (2-0, 1 KO) remained undefeated, stopping
intrastate rival Brian Clements, of Topeka, halfway through the opening
Another pro-debuting California fighter, junior welterweight *Chazz Macias*,
needed only 1:20 to knockout Omaha’s *Corey Roberts*.
Fighting for the first time in 5 ½ years, Washington D.C. heavyweight *Maurice
“Freight Train” Byarm* (14-2-1, 10 KOs) took out 300-pounder *Richard
“Silverback” Carmack* (15-13-1, 12 KOs) in round one.