Story from KSN
BY Emily Younger
Published: July, 7 2017
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita gym that was the site of a fire in November reopened to the public on Friday.
It’s back to boxing business on Wichita’s north side. The punching bags are up, the ring is set and the athletes are raring to go.
“We are just trying to open up, get the ball rolling again,” said Coach Lewis Hernandez.
Hernandez Boxing Academy , formally known as Northside Boxing Academy, opened its doors on Friday, hosting a free kids workout. It was the first public workout since a November fire damaged much of the training facility, forcing it to close.
“It was a real heartbreak,” said Hernandez. “When that happened to me, I broke down. I was like, ‘are you serious?’ Then, I seen the pictures and it reality hit me.”
The gym is home to Olympian and undefeated pro boxer Nico Hernandez. Leading up to Nico’s first two professional fights, he and his team had to train from home or at other gyms. The closure of Hernandez Boxing Academy also left many kids in Wichita with nowhere to train or pursue their boxing dreams.
“There’s a lot of free time in the summer and I just feel that kids needs to stay busy. Idle time, you know, that’s never good,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez, who has trained three Olympic boxers including his son Nico, said the city and numerous volunteers have helped with the reopening, but admits there is still a lot of work to be done before the gym is fully functioning.
“Like I tell everybody, we started from nothing, so basically we’ve got bags, we’ve got this. Just starting over again, but it’s OK,” he said.
Hernandez and his team of coaches are working on getting the gym’s weight room up and running again. They are also putting in new flooring and painting the exterior of the building.
It’s unclear when the gym will reopen in its entirety, but Hernandez said he expects it to be sometime soon. His next goal is to become an Olympic boxing coach. As for Nico, Hernandez said his next fight is expected to be in September.
LAS VEGAS (June 26, 2017) -- Fresh off his sensational stoppage of previously undefeated Jose "Mexican Diablo" Rodriguez, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez is riding the fast track to stardom on an exciting journey that's just really started.
In the June 17th "KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire" main event, which aired live on CBS Sports Network from Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas, Hernandez improved his record to 2-0 (2 KOs), dropping Rodriguez three times and closing the show in the third round..
The 21-year-old Hernandez, fighting out of Wichita, is already proving to be a better professional boxer that he was an amateur, despite all his accomplishments and achievements in the non-paying ranks, firing effective combinations from a wide variety of angles, including punishing body shots and devastating, powerful punches to his opponent's head.
Because Hernandez fights in the flyweight division, which is void of overwhelming talent and lacks top-notch Americans, along with his amateur pedigree and experience fighting boxers with different styles, Hernandez can likely crack the world ratings this year, possibly getting a world title shot in 2018.
"I did my thing tonight," Hernandez said after his June 17th fight. "I've fought the best at the Olympics, so I wasn't worried about what he (Rodriguez) he did. This fight was a little personal because he'd said he was knocking me out. I got tired of him and went into the ring trying to take him out. We can be friends now.
"I just need to stay on path and I will. I've been on the top since I started boxing when I was nine. I want to do what other Olympians like (Andre) Ward and (Vasyl) Lomanchenko have done...become world champion!"
The highest-rated flyweight in the world today is 36-year-old Brian Viloria (37-5, 22 KOs), the 4-time, 2-division world champion and 2000 U.S. Olympian. Considering his advanced age for a boxer, the "Hawaiian Punch" will probably be retired by the time Hernandez is ready for a world title shot, leaving Oscar Cantu and Miguel Cartagena as the only American flyweights currently rated among the top 25 in the world.
Checkout this great highlight video by TITLE boxing
"Nico was great in his last fight and everybody is seeing what we want to do with him," Hernadez' promoter John Andersen (KO Night Boxing) noted. "We need to step up the competition for him in his next fight, which will probably be his last six-round bout. Our plan is one more six and then an eight-rounder for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) International Youth featherweight title. But Nico has options because he can easily drop down to junior flyweight or move up to super flyweight. We'll take things fight-by-fight with him with an eye on the immediate future for a world title fight."
The flyweight division, right now, is led by a pair of stars, Kazuto Ioka, of Japan, and Filipino Donnie Nietes. The future of lower weight-classes may very well belong to Nico Hernandez.
Follow @Nicomhernandez on Twitter and Instagram.
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NSSE is a content company whose focus is creating original and joint venter media properties - unscripted, scripted, events and digital programming - for cross-platform distribution. In this highly competitive digital age, NSSE specializes in the development and production of corporate branding designed with your target audience and accelerated consumer growth in mind. Visit us on Twitter @Neonstarmedia or Facebook www.facebook.com/Neon-Star-Media . KO Night Boxing, LLC, REV Sports Entertainment Inc. (MAVTV Canada) and Neon Star Media LLC are subsidiary companies of Neon Star Sports & Entertainment Inc.
Bob Trieger, KO Night Boxing, email@example.com, 978.590.0470, @FightPublicist
Team Nico: firstname.lastname@example.org
Video Courtesy of Brandon Findley
Published: June, 21 2017
Story from ESPN Boxing
BY Dan Raphael
Published: June, 19 2017
Nico Hernandez KO3 Jose Rodriquez
Records: Hernandez (2-0, 2 KO); Rodriquez (2-1, 2 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Hernandez, 21, of Wichita, Kansas, claimed a bronze medal for the United States at the 2016 Olympics and scored a fourth-round knockout in his pro debut on March 25. Back for pro fight No. 2, Hernandez fought near home and headlined the CBS Sports-televised card against Rodriguez, 29, of Markesan, Wisconsin. He had no issues, landing quick combinations to the head and body as he battered the overmatched Rodriguez, whom he knocked down during the second round. In the third round, he dropped him again with a right-left combination. When he continued to pelt Rodriguez and then dropped him for the third time, referee Kevin Champion counted him out at 2 minutes, 38 seconds.