Nico Hernandez won’t have to worry about feeling homesick or catching a flight when he makes his pro debut on March 25.
The 2016 U.S. light flyweight bronze medalist is set to take on Patrick Gutierrez (0-2) at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas, a roughly 25- minute drive from the 21-year-old’s hometown of Wichita, Kansas. The card will be shown on CBS Sports Net and promoted by Knockout Night Boxing, the promotional firm that has signed Hernandez to a promotional contract, it was announced at a press conference on Thursday.
“I reached the highest level I could in my amateur career and it was time for me to turn pro,” Hernandez said of his debut, which is scheduled as a six-round flyweight bout. “I’ve always wanted to make my pro debut in my hometown, Wichita. My plan is to do it like Terence Crawford has done in Omaha. I’m hoping it works out as well for me. I signed with Knockout Night Boxing because they’re really going to work with me and I like what they want to do.”
The reference to Crawford is interesting because Hernandez, the first American light flyweight to medal in the Olympics since Michael Carbajal, was set to make his pro debut underneath Crawford’s bout with John Molina Jr. on Dec. 10 in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha but a deal with promoter Top Rank couldn’t get done. Now, Hernandez will try to blaze his own trail closer to hime.
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