Freddy Hernandez Stops Mike Anchondo; Cuban Luis Franco Still Undefeated

By John G. Thompson: Freddy Hernandez 29-1 (20 KO’s) of Mexico City did an impressive job against Mike Anchondo 30-3 (19 KO’s) of Los Angeles at Buffalo Bill’s Star Arena in Primm, Nevada on ShowBox: The New Generation. He simply could not miss with the right hand and connected flush in the fourth, knocking his man down. Anchondo got up, but Hernandez went on the attack. Referee Robert Byrd might have stopped the bout a bit early, but the writing was on the wall. Also in action, Luis Franco 7-0 (5 KO’s) used superior hand speed to out hustle Wilton Hilario 12-2-1 (9 KO’s) over the course of eight rounds.

Hernandez’s sole loss came back in 2005 against Golden Johnson. Undefeated since then, Hernandez has racked up wins against the likes of Ben Tackie and Jesus Soto Karass. His most impressive victory came in his last fight in February when he knocked out former champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley in the fifth round. Anchondo’s career started hot with ten straight wins by knockout, and culminated in winning the vacant WBO Super Featherweight title in 2004. He was knocked out in his first defense by Jorge Barrios and then again by Darling Jimenez. Anchondo fought only once in 2006 and 2007, and not at all in 2008. However he did win all three of his fights in 2009.

The fact that Anchondo had won a title at super featherweight should have been a giveaway that taking on a natural welterweight would be a challenge. Hernandez attempted to use his five inch height and six inch reach advantages by moving backwards and boxing from the outside. Anchondo did a good job of getting inside his opponent’s reach and may have won the first round. The straight right of Hernandez became more accurate in the second and third rounds as he continued to box while moving backwards, forcing Anchondo to come forward. Anchondo obliged him, though he kept his guard very low.

In the fourth, Hernandez took advantage of the low guard and wobbled Anchondo with the straight right. Just as Anchondo seemed to be motioning Hernandez to come on with his glove, Hernandez pounced on him with punches and Anchondo went down. He got up at the count of four and referee Byrd said, “You gotta show me something Mike!” To which Anchondo replied, “I’m good.” Hernandez went on the attack for the remainder of the round, forcing Anchondo into a corner, and forcing referee Byrd to stop the fight. Byrd picked an awkward moment as Anchondo was throwing back, and the crowd boo’d, thinking the stoppage premature. It may actually have been a bit of an early stoppage, however, Anchondo’s legs did not look good and he had not been throwing anything back up until that moment.

In the undercard, Luis Franco, a Cuba defector now living in Miami, Florida, took on Minnesota resident Wilton Hilario, originally from the Dominican Republic. Hilario put on plenty of pressure in his first fight since his only loss to contender Martin Honorio back in March. However, Franco’s hand speed and combination punching were too much for Hilario. Both men were accomplished amateurs, though Hilario’s Golden Gloves experience was simply not at the same level as this new generation of Cuban defectors with hundreds of amateur bouts and numerous Olympic and international competitions.

While the announcers referred to Franco’s combinations as “slapping punches,” his style allowed him to out throw and out land Hilario throughout all eight rounds. Hilario showed heart and determination, though his best blows were perhaps his illegal ones, having landed several obvious headbutts and multiple low blows, for which referee Jay Nady deducted one point in the third. In fact, Jay Nady was vocal throughout the fight, issuing warnings to Hilario. Ironically, an accidental headbutt opened a cut over the eye of Hilario in the final minute of the eighth. Just to emphasize how dirty this fight was, after the final bell Franco blew a kiss at Hilario, who responded with left hook. All three judges awarded the bout to Franco by scores of 78-73, 80-71, and 77-74.

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Article posted on 18.09.2010

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