Onoriode Ehwarieme suffered a horror eighteenth pro outing when the previously undefeated fighter went down to journeyman Rodney Hernandez.
Ehwarieme lost on the undercard to Ivan Redkach defeating ex-unified world title-holder Devon Alexander in San Jacinto, California.
The night started out with a bang as Hernandez (13-7-2, 3 KOs), who was the underdog heading into the fight. He landed two massive lefts to the head of the highly touted Ehwarieme (17-1, 16 KOs), sending the previously unbeaten native of Nigeria thundering to the canvas.
Ehwarieme appeared to beat referee Rudy Baragon’s count, but Baragon waved it off, determining that the towering African was unable to continue at 2:59 of round one.
“I want to dedicate this fight to all of the people,” said Hernandez. “Here I am. I am not surprised by the first round KO.
“I’m a very confident person. I like to smile, but I also like to throw punches. Please anyone in the heavyweight division, fight me.
“I will be prepared to the fullest, I won’t disrespect anyone. I’ll work hard. I am ready. This is my time.”
Ehwarieme vowed to continue his quest despite the setback.
“I was ready to continue. The referee made the wrong call,” said Ehwarieme. “There was one second to go. I would have been fine.
“I was ready to fight and I was and I am still ready to fight. I’ll get back in there again soon.”
In the PBC Prelims on FS2 and FOX Deportes, Marlon Tapales (33-2, 15 KOs) of Tubod, Philippines defeated Roberto Castaneda (23-12-2, 16 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico via TKO stoppage in the third round of a super bantamweight bout.
Also on the bill, undefeated Jhack Tapora (23-0, 17 KOs) who also hails from the Philippines, showed no ring rust after 11 months out of the ring as he defeated Jose Luis Gallegos (16-7, 12 KOs) via unanimous decision.