This past Saturday night everything else took a back seat when Nico Hernandez, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and local hero, completely took Hungarian challenger Szilveszter by surprise and got his hands on IBA flyweight World title. The Hungarian Szilveszter is dubbed as ‘The Silent Assassin’ and is considered a ferocious beast however he couldn’t face the wrath of Hernandez and ended up losing in Hernandez fifth professional fight, at Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas.
It was the first world title fight ever held in Kansas in which Hernandez (5-0 4 KOs) vanquished Kanalsas (14-7, 9KOs), who is a former World Boxing Federation (WBF) super flyweight world champion, to acquire the title of ‘youngest’ IBA world champion ever. Hernandez is only 22 and he has successfully set the record for the least number of pro fights required to become IBA world titlist.
Hernandez was very fierce from the very beginning, landing successful punches on Kanalas’s head and body. Hernandez cannoned a left hook which really hurt Kanalas and then he went for the feared liver shot which was unbearable for Kanalas. Kanalas had beaten Steve Smoger but it only took a few minutes for Hernandez to knock him out.
“A lot of people underestimate my power,” Hernandez said after the fight. “I believe that once he felt my power, I don’t think he wanted it anymore. I felt like I took his heart away. I was patient, I wanted it to go a few rounds to see what he had, but I took his heart away. I can’t really be disappointed because I am a world champion now.”
“Nico was explosive Saturday night and he showed killer instinct,” promoter John Andersen commented. “He was going to box, but I think he smelled fear, and Nico got into Kanalas’ head. He sensed it and jumped on him.”
Hernandez sounded a little arrogant at first when he grabbed the microphone and called out three time Olympian and two time Olympic bronze medalist Paddy Barnes for a fight. Hernandez said that there is a bronze medalist who belongs to Ireland, he goes by the name of Paddy Barnes and I would love to fight him.
Now this is going to be fight worth watching as challenger Hernandez is 31 while Irish Paddy Barnes is 21. There’s a 10 years age difference. How often do you see a 31 years old challenging a guy who is at the culmination of youth?
There is a lot of discussion going on regarding this incident. People are dying to watch this fight. Andersen said, “I think that’s a fight we should start a conversation about”. It can be a really big fight as both of them are Olympic bronze medalist, and have belts to their name. Barnes is the WBO Intercontinental flyweight champion. Fans just can’t wait enough to watch their stars get into the ring and mesmerize them with their boxing skills.