Nico Hernandez defeats late-sub Kendrick Latchman on Saturday
Not even a last-minute change of opponent would deter Nico Hernandez’s attempt at a victory Saturday night.
Hernandez defeated late-sub Kendrick Latchman via six-round unanimous decision at the Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.
Hernandez (3-0, 2 knockouts) was scheduled to face Basyzbek Baratov but the fighter from Kyrgyzstan abruptly backed out of the fight Friday evening when Hernandez weighed 113 pounds, one pound above the contracted weight. Baratov (2-1-2) tipped the scale at 112 pounds.
The Kansas Athletic Commission automatically allows fighters to be one pound over for all non-title fights but Baratov refused to go forward with the bout.
Enter Latchman, who competes in boxing and mixed martial arts, who took the fight on Friday night. Hernandez was allowed to re-hydrate four pounds and Latchman (1-5-1, 1 KO) weighed in at 125 pounds.
Latchman went after Hernandez in the opening frame, even momentarily stunning the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist. Hernandez made the right adjustments and was able to outbox Latchman for the duration of the fight.
Scores were 59-55 twice and 60-54 in favor of Hernandez, who resides in nearby Wichita.
“They (his corner and fans) were nervous,” said the 21-year-old Hernandez after the fight. “I wasn’t. My coach (father Lewis Hernandez) told me to feint and go in but I lunged a little too much. I’m staying in my division (flyweight) before moving up in weight.”
Featherweight Tramaine Williams (13-0 1, 5 KOs) dropped Derrick Murray (13-3-1, 5 KOs) in round three, en route to a 10-round unanimous decision.
Murray came to fight but the southpaw Williams, who was coming off an impressive first round knockout victory over former bantamweight title challenger William Gonzalez less than two months ago, was able to outbox Murray throughout most of the fight.
Scores were 98-91 twice and 97-92 in favor of Williams.
Welterweight Armando Alvarez (17-0, 11 KOs) remained unbeaten, winning a 10-round unanimous decision over veteran Gabor Gorbics (23-8, 14 KOs). Scores were 100-90, 98-92 and 96-93 in favor of Alvarez.
Hard-hitting heavyweight Zhilei Zhang (18-0, 14 KOs) stopped veteran Byron Polley (30-22-1, 13 KOs) at 2:28 of the opening round.
The entire card will air on CBS Sports Network at a later date.
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 (California) Star newspaper, BoxingScene.com and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.
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