© Tom Casino / Showtime Boxing
World-ranked welterweight Freddy “El Riel’’ Hernandez is one step closer to a future world title shot against Andre Berto following his convincing fourth-round TKO victory over Mike Anchondo on ShoBox: The New Generation on ShowtimeFriday night from Buffalo Bills Casino.
A poised and relaxed Hernandez controlled the entire scheduled 10-round welterweight fight, registering an early fourth round-knockout with a “cannonball blast,” right hand shot according to Showtime expert analyst Steve Farhood that all but ended the fight. “This was a sales job for Hernandez,” Farhood added later. “He’ll probably be in line for a title shot with Berto next."
“It was the right call,” said Showtime play-by-play man Curt Menefee of the stoppage at 1:38 in the fourth round. “You can see Anchodo not defending himself.”
Hernandez of Lynwood, Calif., now 29-1, 1 NC (20 KOs ), agreed. “If it wasn’t that round it would have been the next,” he said. “He was hurt. I was getting him in the face and the body.”
The former world champion Anchondo of La Puente, Calif. falls to 30-3 (19 KOs ).
In the co-feature, 2004 Cuban Olympian Luis Franco (7-0, 5 KOs) of Miami, Fla., registered a unanimous decision against Wilton “Pretty Warrior’’ Hilario (12-2-1, 9 KOs), of Saint Louis Park, Minn., by way of Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, in an eight-round super featherweight bout. It was scored 80-71, 78-73 and 77-74. It was the first time Franco went past the fifth round as a professional.
“I knew it would go a lot of rounds because I saw tape and he’s not the best boxer but he’s a tough guy,” Franco said. “So I thought it might go the distance.”
It wasn’t pretty, but Franco got the job done against a game and offensive Hilario who Menefee at one point described the pesky fighter, “like a bug in the summertime. He just keeps following you.
During the telecast, Farhood commented on an exciting announcement of a two-round, single-elimination tournament on Showtime to determine the best fighter at 118 pounds on Dec. 11. The fighters are IBF 118-pound champion Yonnhy “El Colombiano” Perez, undefeated, world-ranked rising star Abner Mares, former IBF bantamweight champion Joseph “King Kong’’ Agbeko, and two-division world champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan.
“The bantamweight division is my favorite,” Farhood said. “What I love about this tournament is all these guys are fan favorites because they’ll fight anyone. Who’s going to be in the final? Who cares. This is an excellent tournament for this weight division and excellent for boxing fans everywhere.”
The tournament will begin with two semifinal bouts live on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast) from Leon , Mexico . Each bout will be scheduled for 12 rounds. The winners of each semifinal will clash in the final in 2011 with the losing fighters competing in a consolation fight.
Farhood then interviewed his fellow Showtime analyst Antonio Tarver, who announced he would be returning to the ring to fight in the heavyweight division after a year-and-a-half layoff.
Tarver (27-6, 19 KOs ) returns to the ring on ShoBox on Oct. 15. The former WBC and IBF light heavyweight champion will face Nagy Aguilera (16-4, 11-0 KOs ) in a 10-round heavyweight bout. “I just figured I walk around at 215 pounds, I’m a young 41 so why not?” Tarver said. “I feel like I still have something left to give to the boxing game and I want to become the next heavyweight champion.”
He added: “I’m eating properly and will have no stress of losing 25 pounds to make weight. I can fight harder and smarter and possibly become the next heavyweight champion of the world.”
The doubleheader was promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC.
Friday’s fights will re-air on SHO 2 on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast). The fights will be available On Demand from Sept. 20 until Oct. 3.
Boxing returns to Showtime on Oct. 1 when Tim Coleman (17-1-1, 4 KOs) faces Patrick Lopez (20-2, 12 KOs) in a 12-round welterweight main event from the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif., at a new time of 11:45 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). In the co-feature, Archie Ray Marquez (9-0, 6 KOs) battles Juan Santiago (13-4-1, 8 KOs ) in an eight-round lightweight affair.
On Nov. 6, undefeated Juan Manuel Lopez (29-0, 26 KOs) and Rafael Marquez (39-5, 35 KOs) face off for the WBO featherweight title on Showtime Championship Boxing (10 p.m. ET/PT) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas , Nev.
In a special Showtime Pay Per View event, World Boxing Council 175-pound titleholder Jean Pascal (26-1, 16 KOs) meets former world light heavyweight and middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KOs ) for the WBC light heavyweight title on Dec. 18.
Showtime Sports will produce and distribute the fight, and utilize its own announcers. The PPV event will begin at 9 p.m. ET/PT. It is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.