Junior lightweight contender Eduardo ‘Rocky’ Hernandez made his U.S. debut a memorable one Saturday night, dropping Ibrahim Mgender twice en route to a second round knockout victory at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California.
Hernandez, who resides in Mexico City, improves to 28-0 (25 knockouts).
The 21-year-old Hernandez was also making his debut under the Golden Boy Promotions banner. He will continue to be co-promoted by Promociones Del Pueblo, which has guided his career since his pro debut.
Hernandez and Mgender traded punches during the opening round but Hernandez was the aggressor during the second round. His aggression paid off as a left hook to the head shook Mgender, sending him back against the ropes.
A left hook to the body later in the round dropped Mgender to the canvas. Mgender stood up, but he looked unsteady as he attempted to fight back. A right hand to the head from Hernandez moments later dropped Mgender to the canvas, where he remained as referee Thomas Taylor counted him out at 1:58.
WHAT A DEBUT FROM ROCKY HERNANDEZ! #WatchOnDAZN pic.twitter.com/LDWH9RucKg
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) March 31, 2019
Hernandez has now won his last four bouts since he was shot in the back in an attempted car jacking by two suspects in January of 2018. The bullet was removed and Hernandez returned to action four months later.
Mgender, who resides in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, drops to 22-6 (10 KOs).
Welterweight prospect Aaron McKenna of Ireland won by unanimous decision over Loretto Olivas.
The fight was a clash of unbeaten fighters, but McKenna was the superior fighter over the shorter Olivas. Midway through the opening round, McKenna dropped Olivas with a right cross to the head.
Olivas (3-1), who resides in Albuquerque, Mew Mexico, was game, but was not able to match the punching accuracy and aggression of McKenna, who was an amateur standout.
All three judges scored the bout 60-53 in favor of McKenna, who improves to 7-0 (4 KOs) and now resides in Los Angeles.
Unbeaten featherweight Joet Gonzalez scored an impressive fifth round knockout of former world titleholder Rodrigo Guerrero.
Gonzalez was the aggressor from the opening bell, landing thudding punches that bruised and bloodied the face of Guerrero. Towards the end of the opening round, Gonzalez dropped Guerrero with a left hook to the body, followed by a right hand to the head.
Guerrero (26-8-2, 15 KOs), who held a world title belt at 115 pounds several years ago, attempted to use his ring savvy to fight back, but was not able to keep Gonzalez off of him. Another combination from Gonzalez in round four dropped Guerrero to one knee. Guerrero did get up, but the end was near.
Gonzalez continued to batter Guerrero in round five. A combination sent Guerrero against the ropes, where Gonzalez followed up. Another combination to the head prompted referee Jerry Cantu to step in and stop the fight at 2:27.
In the opening bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card, junior welterweight contender Antonio Orozco defeated Jose Luis Rodriguez by unanimous decision.
Orozco, who is now trained by Freddie Roach, last fought on Sept. 14, losing by unanimous decision to WBC titleholder Jose Ramirez in Fresno.
The 31-year-old Orozco took control of the fight during the last four rounds of the fight, landing the more-telling blows over Rodriguez.
Scores were 97-93, 97-93, and 99-91 for Orozco, who improves to 28-1 (17 KOs). Orozco resides in San Diego and is managed by Frank Espinoza.
Rodriguez, who resides in Monterrey, Mexico, drops to 25-13-1 (13 KOs).
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @FSalazarBoxing
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