Veteran light middleweight boxer Angel 'Toro' Hernandez, who was knocked out at 1:39 of the second round by Demetrius Andrade in the main event of a seven bout card at Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, on Saturday, February 11, 2012, has been suspended from fighting for 90 days by Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation and ABC Boxing effective immediately through May 10, 2012.
According to Michael Mazzulli, Director of the Mohegan Sun Tribe, Department of Athletic Regulation, Hernandez was medically suspended for ninety days, and will require additional medical testing before he can get back in the ring to fight again.
"He cannot fight anywhere in the United States and Canada," explained Mazzulli. Mazzulli, a former vice-president of the ABC Association of Boxing Commissions for many years, stated the medical suspension of Hernandez will be sent to Fightfax and will be public knowledge.
The suspension states Hernandez can have no contact (no training, including sparring ) for sixty days, and is suspended for ninety days.
"Hernandez is a good kid. I heard he had been in training. I wish him the best. He fought Peter Manfredo Jr. here at Mohegan in 2010. Angel spoke to me and the commission, yes sir, no sir, he had been in training for three months. Angel came in right on weight at 154, and he looked good in mind and body, stated Mazzulli.
SaddoBoxing inquired as to Mazzulli's contact with Dr. Mario Yagobi, CEO of Boxing 360.
"Mario contacted me with a genuine concern for the fighter's health," said Mazzulli. "I told him I would diligently make sure (both of) the fighters were healthy enough to participate in the fight.
"We were in the process of performing additional tests. When those additional tests were performed, we provided a public statement to the effect Hernandez was cleared to participate. Hernandez signed a release so his test results could go public.
"Mario was very genuine in expressing concern for the fighter before the fight. After the fight, Mario contacted me again and I stated to Mario, if you are calling to express safety concerns for your fighter, I'll listen. If you are calling regarding contractual issues (in terms of the promoter getting paid his contractual percentage of the fighter's purse) I have no comment."
SaddoBoxing inquired as to the actions of referee Steve Smoger and the Hernandez corner.
"Steve has been a licensed referee at the Mohegan Athletic Department since 1997, " said Mazzulli. "Steve's stoppage in the second round of Angel Hernandez? You could not get a better stoppage. Like he does at every fight, Steve wanted to protect the fighter. There was no complaint at all from the Hernandez camp, the whole camp never protested the stoppage at the time or afterwards. Before the bout, trainer John Schaeffer and his fighter Angel Hernandez thanked me for being concerned.
What were the specific activities involving Angel Hernandez after the bout ended?
"Demetrius Andrade went over to Angel, asked if he was alright, and gave him a hug," said Mazzulli. "Our neurologist, Dr. Tony Alessi, and our ringside physician Dr. Michael Schwartz, checked out Angel. Schwartz spoke to him in both English and Spanish. Upon Angel leaving the ringside and entering the locker room, we did an extensive post fight physical on him like we do on every boxer."
Would the Mohegan Tribe Athletic Department clear Hernandez to fight again?
"Angel Hernandez was a contender, " said Mazzulli. "He fought really tough competition. He's a great kid. This is my personal belief. I had no problems clearing this fight. Would I (given the same set of circumstances and medical facts) do it again? Absolutely. But...after knowing what I know with the results...probably not. Angel Hernandez will be placed on the ABC suspension list valid through May 10, 2012. He is not going to fight anywhere in the country, which includes the United States, Canada, and anyone belonging to the Association of Boxing Commissioners."
Does Mazzulli still believe in the virtue of using last minute replacement fighters?
"This happens quite often," said Mazzulli. "Ron Katz, the matchmaker, informs me of opponents. At that point I make a decision. If Mr. Hernandez had flunked any of my required medical tests, there would be no main event bout on ESPN2. This would be 100 percent truthful in my eyes, as we would be acting for the safety of the fighter absolutely.
"Our required tests included a comprehensive physical, eye exam, blood testing, EKG, and a Cat Scan. We went above and beyond. After Boxing 360 called me and expressed concern. I required a brand new Cat Scan for Angel Hernandez to fight, as well as exams by a speech pathologist and a neurologist. Our board certified neurologist, Dr. Tony Alessi, is contracted by the National Football League and Major League Baseball. He's the best sports neurologist in the world."