By Karl Freitag
Photos by Scott Foster
“This man here (legendary champion Wilfredo Vazquez) is the one who raised me. What I do is follow his instructions. The credit I have to give my Dad,” said an elated WBO junior featherweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. after successfully defending his belt against former super flyweight king Ivan “Choko” Hernandez on Saturday night before a passionate crowd at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida.
Returning as world champion for the first time to the city where he has fought the majority of his fights as a pro, Vazquez also deeply thanked the Kissimmee fans for supporting him, proclaiming “We’re all champions!”
Vazquez Jr. (20-0-1, 17 KOs) scored an inspiring eleventh round TKO over Hernandez (28-5-1, 17 KOs) in a good action fight.
It was the second defense for the 26-year-old champion, who won the title against Marvin Sonsona and had previously defended it once against Zsolt Bedak. Both of those bouts were in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. He has won all three of his world championship bouts by knockout.
Vazquez Jr. deferred questions regarding future opponents to his promoter Tuto Zabala Jr.
Fight recap: “WV2” and “Choko” engaged in a give and take battle for the first few rounds. Vazquez Jr. took over at the end of round four and began to overpower Hernandez in the fifth. Hernandez, however, had a good round in the seventh outboxing the champion and one could sense the tide might be turning in the eighth. Vazquez, however, came out with renewed vigor in tenth, rocking Hernandez with big shots. “Choko” went to the wrong corner after the round. “WV2” jumped all over Hernandez in the eleventh and referee Telis Assimenios soon waved it off. Time was :50.