Legend has it that Texas is considered a “boxing state”. Fort Worth, TX, specifically, has produced several talented fighters from Paulie Ayala (Former NABF and WBA World Champion) to Donald Curry (Boxing Hall of Famer and former WBC Super Welterweight Champion). Now there are young and hungry fighters looking to create their own legacy, whilst representing for their predecessors. Jesse “The One” Hernandez (12-1, 7KOs) is without a doubt one of those prospects and is the type of fighter with world champion aspirations.
The boxing game is certainly not foreign territory for the Hernandez family. Jesse’s older brother Jose “El Loco” Hernandez paved the way for his younger brother, competing in 25 professional bouts. Jesse (28-years old) is ranked 15 in the WBO and has a seemingly bright future ahead of him. Amongst his seven stoppage victories, Hernandez scored a fifth-round KO over previously undefeated Russian Vladimir Tikohonov (17-1 9KOs) in 2017. Hernandez has been victorious in his last 3 fights since and is scheduled to fight another undefeated fighter Tommy Ward (25-0 4KOs) next. The bout is scheduled for February 15th in Kansas City for the WBO eliminator and will be the first professional fight on American soil for the UK’s Tommy Ward (24-years old). Lisa Lozano with Global Fight Talk had the privilege to interview Hernandez; and during the visit she even caught a glimpse of his sparring session with Edward Vazquez (6-0), another upcoming fighter from Fort Worth, TX.
GFT: Jesse, you are taking on undefeated fighter Tommy Ward on the 15th how has training coming along?
Hernandez: He’s 25-0 and he’s never fought in the U.S, but I can’t take nothing away from him. But he only has a small percentage of knock outs. It’s going to be a great fight. There is definitely going to be fireworks.
GFT: You are no stranger to the fight game, you grew up with all your brothers fighting. How does it feel being the only brother left fighting and how supportive is your family?
Hernandez: They are very supportive. I’m not in this alone. I’m a part of what they made me in this sport and there’s a lot of things I took from them. I give them a lot of credit.
GFT: You train out of FHG in Fort Worth, TX and you have some great teammates that come out of this gym, one being John Vera (18-1, 11 KO). Do you guys ever spar even though you guys are in different weight classes and what is the sparring like?
Hernandez: Sparring is great, we have multiple guys around my weight class. John and I never spar but he gives me great tips. He is a great guy to have in my corner
GFT: I’ve known you and your family from where we all use to train together at Diamond Hill boxing gym at the rec center. How does it feel to have these young kids look up to you who grew up in a similar background as yourself?
Hernandez: It feels good and I want to give back to the community and help get these kids off the streets. I want them to know they can come talk to me and feel comfortable. It’s very important to me to give back to the community.
GFT: You’re fighting Tommy Ward and I know training has to be crazy. This will be a 10 round fight. What do you need to do to secure this win?
Hernandez: Break him down plain and simple. Wear his body down by the 6th round. Ward likes to move a lot and he will tire himself out
GFT: You’re training with Coach Ray. You’ve been training with him for quite some time now. What’s it like to train with someone like him and what does he bring to the table?
Hernandez: He’s a great coach and his experience and knowledge as a trainer means a lot. He has been around world champions like Paulie Ayala and I trust what he tells me.
GFT: Because I’ve known you from your amateur days, I’ve seen some improvement in your game. You are moving and utilizing that jab more. But one thing that remains the same is that you love going to the body and still have that dog in you. You will make it a dog fight if need be. I always say you always go back to what you were taught from the beginning. Do you agree?
Hernandez: I agree my former coach always taught me to be aggressive since I was young but it has changed throughout the years because I am at a different level. I'm still aggressive but smarter. I have to do different things in order to be successful in the ring.
GFT: Any last words before we wrap this interview up
Hernandez: I gave up boxing for five years and my coach pulled me out of it. I just want to say never give up on yourself and keep working hard. Never let anyone put you down. Big shout out to my family, manager and my coach for believing in me.
Lisa also caught up with Coach Ray (trainer of Hernandez) and asked him what he thought Jesse needed to do to win this fight. “I believe he has to take the fight to Ward and make him uncomfortable” he responded. “Ward is a good boxer, but he’s never faced a fighter like Jesse. We don’t underestimate anyone, but this fight will take both fighters to the next level and we know Ward is coming at his best”.
Hernandez is the kind of prospect you don’t want to miss this fight, Global Fight Talk is honored to have spoken with Hernandez and we will definitely be watching February 15th.