Tonight’s prelim lineup on DAZN wasn’t the best one, as the World Boxing Super Series-led card has been impacted by various things — injury, substitutions, fighters missing weight — but we did see the return of former WBC featherweight champion Melissa Hernandez, who came back to boxing and handed Selina Barrios her first loss.
Hernandez (23-7-3, 7 KO) hadn’t fought since a July 2016 loss to Layla McCarter in Alabama. If it helps put into perspective how long ago that is, that fight was on the Wilder-Arreola undercard.
In 2011, Hernandez challenged Erica Anabella Farias for the WBC lightweight title in Argentina, losing a decision, but she won the WBC featherweight title in 2012 from Jelena Mrdjenovich, before dropping it back in a rematch the following year.
Tonight, Hernandez came back at age 39 to face Barrios in a junior welterweight bout. Selina, the older sister of PBC junior welterweight prospect Mario Barrios, was favored a bit going in, but Hernandez looked terrific in her comeback effort, outclassing Barrios (5-1, 2 KO) and beating her up over eight rounds, winning on scores of 79-73, 79-73, and 80-72.
So welcome back to boxing, Melissa.
We also got to see a few local fighters in action.
- Lightweight Jonathan Montrel (3-0, 1 KO) won his fight with Ivan Reyes (0-2, 0 KO) after two rounds, when Reyes was forced to retire from the bout due to an obvious shoulder injury, which was suffered in the opening frame.
- Light heavyweight Sean Hemphill (3-0, 3 KO) followed Montrel, and again we saw a fight stopped early due to injury, this one after just one round when Dennis Williams (4-12-1, 2 KO) had to pull out due to what DAZN commentator Kendall Gill (the basketball player, yes) suspected might have been a torn bicep.
- Lightweight Jeremy Hill (7-0, 4 KO) dropped Kaylyn Alfred (3-2-1, 0 KO) three times to earn a stoppage win in the third round. Alfred was pretty much done when he went down from a body shot the first time, but he showed great heart and toughness trying to fight on. Hill just kept going back to the body and finished things. This was a fun fight.