IBA World Title Fight
The winner of the 12-round main event -- the first world championship boxing match ever held in the state of Kansas -- between Wichita-native Hernandez, 21, and his 19-year-old Hungarian opponent, Kanalas, will become the youngest ever IBA World champion. If Hernandez emerges victoriously, he will also set a record for fewest professional fights needed to win an IBA World title (5).
"I think that says how skilled a fighter I am and that I'm ready to compete with the best in the world," Hernandez responded to being asked what it says about him fighting for a world title in only his fifth pro fight. "But I look at every fight the same and I never underestimate my opponent. I've been training just as hard for this fight as for any of my other fights. The only difference this fight is that I'm training to go more rounds.
"I've been making history since I was a kid. I've always been on top and the one to beat, so I feel like this is another step I'm taking forward in my career. I also hope to be a role model, not only for kids, but also people older than me, and to bring more events and excitement to my city. I love fighting anywhere in Wichita because of the support I get from my hometown fans. This fight (at Kansas Star Arena where he made his pro debut) will definitely bring back some good memories."
Two years ago, Kanalas became one of the youngest (17) world champions in pro boxing history, when he defeated fellow Hungarian boxer, Jozsef Ajtai, for the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) Super Flyweight World Championship.
"I'm not really worried about my opponent," Hernandez added. "I just focus on what I need to do because, if I'm on my game and trained hard, nobody can be me except me! I'll be prepared to anything and one of my best assets in the ring is adapting. I'll see how I'm feeling after the first round. I'm not going into the ring looking for a knockout, but I don't plan on this fight going 12 rounds."
Hernandez can join other US Olympians who were IBA World champions such as Hall-of-Famers Oscar de la Hoya and George Foreman, along with stars such as Roy Jones, Jr.and Antonio Tarver.
In the co-featured event, Russian heavyweight prospect Andrey Afonin (5-0, 2 KOs) faces veteran Cuban fighter Pedro "El Reguilete" Rodriguez (23-4, 19 KOs) in a eight-round bout. Afonin was a 2011 Russian Junior Championships gold medalist, while Rodriguez is a former World Boxing Association (WBA) Fedalatin cruiserweight champion.
Another heavyweight also fighting on the televised segment of the show is undefeated Ukrainian heavyweight prospect Oleksandr Teslenko (12-0, 10 KOs), fighting out of Toronto, against to soon be determined.
Undefeated Washington featherweight Victor Morales, Jr. (8-0, 4 KOs) steps up in class to face David Berna (15-3, 14 KOs), of Hungary, in an intriguing eight-round match up.
Also fighting on the under, all in four-round bouts, are popular Wichita junior welterweight Jeff Sturm (2-0, 1 KO) vs. Nigeria-native Archie Weah (2-10), Kansas City, KS cruiserweight Chris Harris (2-2-2, 2 KOs) vs. Leroy Jones (2-3, 2 KOs), of Saint Louis (MO), Topeka-, KS welterweight Brian Clements (0-1-1) vs. Nebraska's Luis Marquez (0-2), and undefeated Texas junior middleweight Joe Alday, Jr. (7-0, 7 KOs).
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