CARSON, California — Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez entered the ring to Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger anthem, but it was Roger Gutierrez, who pulled the Balboaesq upset by stopping the unbeaten 130-pound contender in the first round of their DAZN broadcast opener for the Rey Vargas-Tomoki Kameda main event at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday.
Hernandez, a 21-year-old Mexico City native who had scored 25 KOs in 28 consecutive victories, was a massive favorite against Gutierrez, a 24-year-old Venezuelan who had lost three times — every fight he had in the U.S. Two of Gutierrez’s losses were stoppages and many expected him to be flattened once Hernandez, who had trained in Southern California with new coach Manny Robles Jr., got into his aggressive rhythm.
However, just when it seemed that the fight was going to script, Gutierrez (22-3-1, 18 KOs), who absorbed several hooks to the body and head during the first half of the round but hung tough, flipped it in dramatic Hollywood fashion. Gutierrez, who boxed with a bloody mouth, had begun to time the advancing Hernandez with 1-2 combinations and with one huge right hand that put the odds favorite on his butt. Hernandez beat referee Rudy Barragan’s 10-count but got up on very wobbly legs and immediately lost his balance and fell back to the canvas. Barragan waved the bout off at 2:39 of the round.
“I won with my mentality, that made the difference,” Gutierrez said during his post-fight press conference. “I came here to rip his head off and that’s what you saw.”
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