Erika Cruz defends her belt against Nazarena Romero in the co-feature

After coming heartbreakingly close to claiming WBC gold last October, super featherweight puncher Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez returns to action atop a May 11th DAZN doubleheader in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Hernandez (34-2, 31 KO) is as easy to root for as they come, an explosively entertaining puncher who bounced back from what could have been a career-derailing loss in 2019 to fight his way into title contention. His first crack at gold saw him overwhelm O’Shaquie Foster for most of their fight and build an insurmountable lead going into the championship rounds, but ultimately succumb to a comeback stoppage with less than 30 seconds on the clock.

His first stop on the comeback trail pits him against Daniel Lugo (27-2-1, 18 KO), who likewise fell just short of a career-defining win when he settled for a majority draw against Mauricio Lara last month. He’s a solid test for Hernandez, possessing the guts and grit needed to stand up to a menacing puncher, and I’m glad to see him get another opportunity after arguably getting shafted.

“People have been counting me out since my loss,” said Hernandez. “On May 11, I will make a statement – ‘Rocky Never Left’.”

“First and foremost, I would like to thank God, Matchroom, Paco Damián and my team for another amazing opportunity,” said Lugo. “We are back in the gym working hard and preparing for war. Rocky Hernandez is one of the best fighters in my division, however, I am up for the challenge.

“I know the importance of this fight, a win over Rocky Hernandez will open up many great opportunities. For all the boxing fans that will be watching on DAZN, we will give you a Mexican war.”

The co-feature pits WBA super bantamweight champ Erika Cruz (17-2, 3 KO) against mandatory challenger Nazarena Romero (13-0-1, 7 KO), one of the seemingly infinite number of standout Argentine women lurking in the lower weight classes. Cruz’s three-fight 2023 saw her fall to Amanda Serrano in a Fight of the Year candidate, rebound with a soft touch in Tijuana, then drop to 122 and edge out Mayerlin Rivas for the belt last November.

Romero, for her part, fought Rivas to a technical draw five months prior.

“I’m stepping into the ring not just to defend my title, but to conquer,” said Cruz. “Romero may be the mandatory opponent, but my sights are set on bigger dreams. Yamileth Mercado, Ellie Scotney, Segolene Lefebvre – I’m coming for all the belts. Romero won’t be the one to stand in the way of my destiny. Viva Mexico!”

“I think my time has come,” said Romero. “In my life nothing was, is, or will be easy. I was born for this, and I feel like the best of all. I prepare like a champion; I think like a champion, and I need to live like a champion.”

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