Thursday, September 28, 2023  |



Hernandez KOs Corley on ShoBox

Fighters Network

DeMarcus Corley was knocked senseless by Freddy Hernandez on Saturday in Santa Ynez, Calif. Photo / Miriam Preissel-Showtime

Welterweight fringe contender Freddy Hernandez knocked out DeMarcus Corley in the fifth round of their Showtime-televised 10 rounder from Santa Ynez, Calif., on Friday night, saving the most impressive ring effort of his nine-year career for the biggest name he's faced so far.

While it must be noted that Corley (36-13-1, 21 knockouts) is a faded 35-year-old veteran who took the fight on one week's notice, the former 140-pound titleholder entered the ShoBox main event winning five of his last seven bouts (and the losses were close decisions to prospects).

More importantly, Corley came to win and his aggressive tactics brought the best out of the taller (by three inches), younger (by five years) and heavier (by five pounds, but perhaps 10 pounds by fight night) fighter.

The main knock on Hernandez (28-1-1, 19 KOs), of Mexico City, Mexico, is that he doesn't always fight with a sense of urgency and his bouts can be downright boring when he's in with a boxer who doesn't press the action.

Corley constantly took the fight to Hernandez, landing right hooks and straight lefts to the body. Hernandez retaliated with accurate right hands to the head and hard left hooks to the 15-year vet's body. Hernandez's body attack resulted in a few accidental head clashes, one of which opened a cut on the outside of his right eye, as he leaned in to land his left hook to Corley's right side.

But the two-way action made for an entertaining fight, one that abruptly ended in the fifth round when Hernandez caught Corley with a short right hand as the former beltholder loaded up with a punch of his own. Corley's body froze on impact before he fell flat on his back with his arms splayed to his sides, where referee Pat Russell waved the bout off.

The three official judges had the bout even, 38-38, after four rounds.

With the victory, Hernandez extends his unbeaten streak to 11-0 (with one no contest) since his only loss (a split decision to Golden Johnson five years ago), but more importantly he begins to create a buzz about his career.

In the opening bout of the ShoBox broadcast, junior welterweight prospect Francisco Contreras (13-0, 12 KOs) made quick work of Juan Castaneda Jr., a former KO victim of lightweight contender Antonio DeMarco, blasting the naturally smaller pressure fighter out 98 seconds into the opening round of their scheduled eight rounder.

Contreras, a 25-year-old former amateur star from the Dominican Republic, stuck and moved for one minute of the first round, keeping Castaneda (16-3-1, 12 KOs) on the end of a hard jab before he measured the shorter man with a powerful combination that was landed while the lanky Dominican was backing to the ropes and punctuated by accurate left hooks.

Castaneda injured his left knee on his way down to the canvas, which explains why he didn't try to get up after being dropped and counted out by referee Jerry Cantu.