By Fox Doucette
Demetrius Andrade (16-0, 11 KOs) took care of business against overmatched Angel Hernandez (30-11, 17 KOs), knocking him out in two rounds in the main event of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights series. In the co-feature, Raymond Serrano (18-0, 8 KOs) defeated Kenny Abril (11-5-1, 6 KOs) via unanimous decision.
The main event was a simple case of a guy in Andrade who needed to win impressively taking the fight to an opponent who had no business being in a ring with him. Hernandez took this fight on two days’ notice amid questions surrounding his neurological health and joined Pickett’s Charge and the Charge of the Light Brigade on the great list of suicidally foolish decisions to rush forward.
In the first round, Andrade settled in to his usual style of potshotting on the outside, using his height and his speed to keep his opponent at a distance. Hernandez, realizing that his only possible chance at victory was to rush in and chuck leather hoping to hit paydirt, did exactly that– getting caught cleanly every time he did so. The second round saw Andrade adjust and land two flush shots for two knockdowns. The second shot caused Hernandez’s eyes to visibly roll back in his head, a shot so severe that referee Steve Smoger did the sensible thing and stopped the fight without a count. This was a complete mismatch, yet another in Demetrius Andrade’s long and growing line of record-builders.
Curiously, Andrade called out Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. after the fight and criticized Saul Alvarez for refusing to fight him. Easy there, Demetrius. Try beating a guy ranked in the top 20 at junior middleweight first before you let yourself get decapitated by El Canelo.
In the co-feature, Raymond Serrano learned firsthand what happens when you lunge at your opponent and leave yourself open. Serrano walked into a jab that landed flush on his chin for a flash knockdown in round three; from the fourth round onward Serrano was tentative and much more cautious coming forward. The settled pace turned out to be a boon to the Philadelphia-based Serrano, as the tempering of his aggression meant that he fought smarter and better throughout en route to a decision on the cards that went 97-92 (twice) and 95-94 in his favor, with Teddy Atlas scoring it 97-93 and The Boxing Tribune scoring it 97-92.
Kenny Abril lost 20 pounds in a month to get down to the contracted weight and still came in a pound and a half heavy. It was clear during the fight that the best way to defeat Raymond Serrano is to use his lack of defense against him, but Abril either doesn’t have that kind of temperament as a fighter or didn’t have the energy and the zip to come forward and force the fight to his opponent. Drying out and losing that much weight in that little time had a clear and present effect, but Kenny Abril was nonetheless able to provide some film for Serrano’s future opponents to watch and learn from. Serrano may be 18-0, but he is not ready for prime time at junior welterweight. A guy like Ruslan Provodnikov or Kendall Holt would slaughter him in there, never mind division elites like Lamont Peterson or Amir Khan or even Erik Morales.
In the swing fight, Manny Gonzalez (10-0, 7 KOs) did his career no favors in a lackluster four-round unanimous decision win over Jesus Bayron (5-4, 4 KOs). Gonzalez has a developing style as an outside fighter, but his heart was called into very serious question in the fourth round. Accidental headbutts happen in boxing, especially between less skilled combatants, but Gonzalez reacted as if he’d been slashed with a knife. He was visibly distraught at the cut and it clearly had an effect on his focus, the kind of effect that brings discipline into doubt (vaguely reminiscent of Edison Miranda’s problems handling adversity). The cut happened late enough in a four-round fight so as not to affect the outcome, however, and the judges scored it 40-36, 39-37 (twice) for Gonzalez, the latter score in agreement with both the Tribune’s card and with Teddy Atlas scoring at ringside. If Gonzalez cannot improve his toughness, this may have been a Pyrrhic victory for him.
Next week, the ESPN2 traveling caravan is in Arlington, Texas, where Mike Dallas Jr. (17-2-1, 7 KOs) puts his very career at stake after two losses on FNF last year. He faces Miguel Gonzalez (20-2, 15 KOs) in a do-or-die battle at lightweight. In the co-feature, up-and-coming power puncher Shawn Estrada (13-0, 12 KOs) looks to catch some attention at super middleweight against sacrificial lamb Terrance Woods (9-3, 6 KOs). Friday Night Fights airs on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com at 9 PM Eastern/6 PM Pacific time. The Boxing Tribune will have a full preview and recap of the night’s televised action.
Fox Doucette covers Friday Night Fights for The Boxing Tribune. His weekly column, The Southpaw, appears on Thursdays. Fan mail, hate mail, and other great suicidal military charges from history can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.