29.09.06 – By James Slater: Kevin Kelley may yet have something to offer the boxing scene, if his performance last night is anything to go by. In his finest performance in years, coming after a humbling KO loss to Bobby Pacquiao, “The Flushing Flash” out pointed Carlos “El Famoso” Hernandez over ten sprightly rounds in San Antonio, Texas. Okay, Hernandez is a fighter who was in the twilight of his career, too. But he was tipped by most to defeat the thirty-nine year old Kelley. Not only did Kevin prove the experts wrong by winning a decision over the Thirty-five year old, he also decked him during the action.
The knockdown came in the fourth, and from then on in Kelley was pretty much the boss. He put his shots together extremely well for such a veteran – his hand speed is clearly more than above average still. While his stamina also was impressive. It will be extremely interesting, to say the least, what Kevin does now. A return with Pacquiao would be fascinating. I had predicted Kelley to win that one, back before it occurred and was shocked by the way the New Yorker fell apart so quickly after winning the first couple of rounds.
Perhaps an old rib injury did have something to do with it, as Kevin seemed to be indicating seconds after the fight was stopped. Judging by last night’s performance, a fully fit Kevin Kelley may well be able to get revenge over the man from the Philippines. Or maybe a shot at one world title or another will be offered to the likeable and crowd pleasing former featherweight king. Either way, the coming months should be somewhat productive ones for Kelley. Something that didn’t seem likely before his blast from the past type display last night, before which it looked to all the world as though he was a fighter rapidly approaching the stage of being completely shot.
As for Carlos, his future plans seem more clear. Retirement was the word on his lips immediately after suffering defeat to Kelley. After such a long and honourable career, the man who gave El Salvador its first ever world champion was understandably emotional as such talk came up. But retirement looks to be his best option. Then again, I was saying the exact same thing about Kelley straight after his loss to Bobby Pacquiao. It just goes to show, you can never write off a great fighter!
The scores were, 95-94 97-92 and 96-93, all for Kelley. Kelley improved to 59-7-2(39KO’s) while Hernandez fell to 42-7-1(24KO’s)