In the Showtime televised co-feature at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York on Friday. Jesse Hernandez narrowly defeated Ernesto Garza via split-decision in an action-packed fight that was scored 95-94 Hernandez, 95-93 Garza, 97-93 Hernandez.
After a close first round, Garza floored Hernandez with a flush left hand to the nose in the closing moments of the second round. Hernandez recovered, and while the middle rounds featured tremendous back-and-forth action, Hernandez seemingly had no trouble walking down Garza, who’s punches seemed to lack any real power. Garza (9-3, 5 KOs) found a second wind and seemed to pick up the eighth and ninth rounds until Hernandez roared back in an excellent 10th and final round that featured 178 total punches.
Hernandez (11-1, 7 KOs) landed 50 percent of his power punches and connected on 40 percent of his punches compared to just 28 percent for Garza, however he threw just 719 total punches compared to more than 1,000 by Garza.
“I think it should have been a unanimous decision,” Hernandez said. “I’ve always been a slow starter and I feel like I lost the first two rounds, especially with the knockdown. But I won pretty much every round after that, I maybe lost three rounds.
“I’m not completely happy with my performance. I have to control my distance and my range a little bit better. I need to go back to the gym and work on those things. Before the summer comes I hope to have another fight and I hope it’s on Showtime.
“I give Garza a lot of credit for getting in the ring and knocking me down. He hung in there for 10 rounds even after I caught him with some good shots. He was able to withstand those shots, but all that said, I still think it should have been a unanimous decision.”
Garza countered that sentiment.
“I thought it was a bogus decision,” Garza said. “I don’t understand that last judge’s card. I was happy with everything that I did. I executed well and did everything I needed to do to win the fight.
“I’m really disappointed with the outcome. I felt that I won. To me, I won a majority of the rounds and I knocked him down. I know knocking your opponent down usually leads to you winning the fight.”
Undefeated Uzbekistan power-puncher Shohjahon Ergashev handed Sonny Fredrickson the first loss of his career with an impressive third round TKO.
The win over the top-10 ranked Fredrickson extended Ergashev’s perfect record to 12-0 with 12 knockouts.
The 26-year-old pressed the action from the beginning, negating Fredrickson’s five-inch reach advantage with a steady diet of well-timed, crisp punches. Ergashev landed a wide left to the head that stumbled Fredrickson in the opening minute of the third and continued to tee-off as his opponent wobbled against the ropes With Fredrickson (18-1, 12 KOs) unable to defend himself and eating a series of brutal lefts, referee Benjy Esteves stepped in to stop the bout at 1:58 of the third.
All of Ergashev’s 61 connects in the bout were power shots, and he connected on 77 percent of his power punches in the third and final round.
“The ref saved him,” Ergashev said. “If he let him stay on his feet any longer I would have knocked him out. He couldn’t handle my power.
“At this stage of my career, I am in the best shape of my life and the best I have felt. This is my time right now, especially because I am training with Rick (Phillips) and (Javan) Sugar (Hill Steward). That’s what leads to all of my knockout power.
“I’m ready for whatever comes next. I’m ready for more fights in the U.S., and I want to keep getting more exposure to show off my skills. I’m ready to fight anybody in America.”
Fredrickson, who became the 172 fighter to suffer his professional loss on the prospect developmental series, suffered a jaw injury in the bout and was unavailable for comment.