Feature Story

More on Hernandez-Corley

Photos: M.L. Preissel/For SHOWTIME

With one sudden, dramatic right hand, once-beaten Freddy “El Riel’’ Hernandez (28-1, 19 KOs) of Lynwood, Calif. broke open an entertaining, dead-even fight to brutally knock out former world champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop’’ Corley (36-13-1, 21 KOs) of Washington, D.C., at 1:48 of the fifth round Friday in the main event on ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME®. In the co-feature at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif., power-punching, undefeated Dominican Francisco Contreras (13-0, 12 KOs), of Livingston, N.J., registered a 1:38, first-round knockout over Juan Castaneda, Jr. (16-3, 12 KOs), of La Paz, Mexico, in a scheduled eight-round junior welterweight bout.

Photos: M.L. Preissel/For SHOWTIME

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The three judges had the Hernandez-Corley scheduled 10-round welterweight scrap scored 38-apiece entering the fifth round.

A former WBO junior welter belt-holder, Corley vowed going in to take the fight to Hernandez and he did. He cut the No. 14-ranked contender in the World Boxing Council (WBC) around both eyes and his experience created a lot of problems for the native of Mexico City.

But no matter how slick, smart and slippery Corley was at times, he had no answer for the booming right hand that dropped him flat on his back. The victory was the fifth in a row for the 5-foot-10-inch, 30-year-old Hernandez, who is 11-0 with one No Contest dating to February 2005.

“My corner kept telling me to throw the right hand more and pick up the pace,’’ said Hernandez, who came out for the fifth with renewed intensity. “We’d seen tapes and saw where Corley slowed down a little after three or four rounds.

“His experience gave me lots of difficulties. That and the fact he was a southpaw and that we only had a week’s notice to prepare. I fought a southpaw before (Damian Frias on Oct. 23, 2009, on ShoBox) but I had a month to prepare for that. I cut in all my fights so I wasn’t concerned about them.

“This is definitely my biggest victory. To knock out an experienced former champion who never gets knocked out is great.’’

For the 5-foot-7, 35-year-old Corley, a longtime world-class 140-pound southpaw who has fought many past and current world champions, including Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Devon Alexander, Junior Witter, Zab Judah, Randall Bailey and Jose Alfaro, it was only the third time he’s been stopped in a near-14-year career.

“I got caught, simple as that,’’ Corley said. “It happens to the best. Instead of me going bing, bing, bing (punches) and moving out of range, I went bing, bing, bing and stood up and got caught with a clean shot. Until then, I was frustrating him and fighting my fight.

“But I’m not going anywhere. As soon as I can return to the gym, I will. I’m definitely going to fight again.’’

The first round between Contreras and Castaneda was shaping up as an excellent one until Contreras connected cleanly with a right hand, two lefts and another right coming off the ropes. Castaneda suffered a severely twisted left ankle after getting nailed and going down, and was counted out.

“I am happy to get this win.’’ the 5-foot-10-inch, 25-year-old Contreras said. “All the shots I was hitting him with were solid. It’s too bad for him he couldn’t continue, but if he had gotten back up, I would have knocked him down again.’’

Castaneda said he felt he twisted his ankle just before he got hit and again after he hit the canvas. “This is really a tough way to lose. I hope he’ll give me a rematch,’’ the 5-foot-7, 26-year-old’ Castaneda said. He got me with a great shot and I wanted to get up and keep fighting. But I just couldn’t.’’

A doubleheader promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, will re-air this week on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHO 2. Friday’s fights will be available ON DEMAND beginning on Monday, Feb. 8.

Nick Charles called the action from ringside with Steve Farhood and Antonio Tarver serving as expert analysts. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

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