The road to the Olympics and professional boxing was not an easy one. Wichita native and North High-School graduate, Nico Hernandez, faced many obstacles along the way. Not the least of which was just living in Wichita. It’s not a boxing town, or even near any.
He was trained by his father in an old firehouse transformed into a boxing facility along with his friend and teammate, Tony Losey. The two boys shared the dream of becoming Olympians and developed into competitive boxers, Losey rising to USA Boxing’s 3rd-place among welterweights, and Nico winning gold at the National Junior Olympics in 2011 and 2012. They competed intensely and supported each other’s careers until, in 2014, Tony Losey died in an industrial accident.
It took both time and money that was scarce for Nico and his father to schedule and travel to training sessions with other elite boxers around the country. He failed, twice, to qualify for the Olympic team. But Nico had a vision of becoming an Olympian. On his third attempt, all of his hard work and perseverance and the support from his father paid off.
At age 20, he entered the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
A virtual unknown, he was not expected to win. His unexpected Olympic victories created a stir in the boxing community, as he eventually took home the Bronze Medal in the Men’s light flyweight division. Nico boxed in memory of his friend Tony, and felt he was there with him during his Olympic run.
Nico Hernandez is Wichita's first Olympic medalist since the 1984 team gold-medal wins of women's basketball star Lynette Woodard and men's volleyball athlete Marc Waldie—and the first Wichitan to win an individual Olympic medal since runner Jim Ryun won silver in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
“Just keep chasing your dreams. No matter how bad people wanna take it away from you, you can do it."
Tale of the Tape
• Professional Boxing Record: 1-0
• Amateur boxing record: 123 wins-12 losses
• 2016 Rio Olympics Bronze Medalist
• 8 time Ringside World Champion
• 6 time Silver Glove National Champion
Nico is the only amateur boxer that has won 6 national titles in 6 consecutive years
• 2 time U.S.A. Junior Olympic National Champion in 2011 and 2012
• Represented U.S.A. Junior Olympic Team/101 lbs. weight category in Russia in 2012
• Was presented ‘Most Outstanding Boxer’ award for the Junior Team in the 2012 Junior Olympics in Russia
• Silver medalist in U.S.A. Youth Men’s National Championship 2013
• Gold Medalist in U.S.A. Youth Men’s National Championship 2014
• Gold Medalist in National Golden Gloves at first attempt at age 17
(Age range for this tournament was 17-34
• Silver Medalist in the World Golden Gloves Championships in Maryland
• Currently ranked #1 in U.S.A. Youth Men’s Division
Before becoming a professional boxer, Nico worked for his father as a lube tech at a Wichita area trucking company. He also wrestled and ran cross country in high school. Nico started boxing at age 9 and has been coached by his father, Lewis Hernandez, at the Hernandez Boxing Academy in Wichita Kansas. Nico was part of the ‘Fab Four’ Cross Country Team at North High School in Wichita, KS that placed second in state for two consecutive years and made the Varsity Wrestling Squad with no prior wrestling experience. He was a top amateur and won a medal at the 2016 Olympic games while representing the United States of America.
He boxes in memory of his teammate and close friend Tony Losey who passed away in 2014. Nico and Tony shared the dream of competing in the Olympics so he felt like Tony was with him during his Olympic run. Nico loves tattoos and has several and each of them have a special meaning to him. Nico is named after twin brothers who passed away before Nico was born.