The WBC light flyweight championship will be on the line this Saturday night in Toluca, Mexico as the champion Adrian Hernandez defends his belt against No. 10-ranked contender Yader Cardoza.
Hernandez (26-2-1, 16 KO) has shown very good power for a fighter in the lower weight classes and at 27 years old has already become a two-time world champion at 108 pounds. He will be fighting in front of his home crowd as he hopes to successfully defend his championship for the second time.
Cardoza (15-4, 5 KO) enters the bout on a seven-fight winning streak but has never fought outside of his native Nicaragua. He will be taking a big step up in class as he hopes to secure his first world championship title as a professional.
Read on for our full preview and prediction for Hernandez vs. Cardoza!
||26-2-1, 16 KO||15-4, 5 KO|
The thing that sticks out immediately is knockout percentage. Hernandez has shown a great deal of power for a fighter competing at 108 pounds and can really crack when he connects.
Cardoza has shown a corresponding lack of any real firepower, which isn't unusual, and could have a hard time dealing with what comes his way Saturday night.
For Adrian Hernandez the storylines are clear and crystal cut. He's the defending WBC light flyweight champion. This is a title he has now held on two separate occasions, and he has the added pressure of defending it in front of his hometown fans.
This is a pressure that he has become accustomed to in his last few fights. He regained the title by knocking out Kompayak Porpramook, who had taken the title from him via 10th-round knockout in October. His first successful defense, a knockout of Dirceu Cabarca, was also held in Toluca so by now he should be able to handle the crowd and expectations.
For Yader Cardoza there are as many questions as there are storylines. We simply don't know a lot about him as he has never fought outside his native Nicaragua, and his level of opposition doesn't provide many measuring sticks.
His biggest storyline thus becomes the unknown. Will he be able to handle the huge step up in class and the pressure of fighting in a hostile environment for the first time?
With 16 knockouts in his 26 professional victories, it's clear that Adrian Hernandez can punch a fair bit more than we're used to seeing amongst light flyweights. His level of opposition has been far superior to that of his relatively unknown foe, and he will be fighting in front of a supportive home crowd.
All the stars are aligned here for a big performance from Hernandez in his second defense of the WBC light flyweight championship.
Yader Cardoza has made his living as more of a boxer than a puncher. He only has five knockouts in 15 wins, so it's not likely he will be able to take this fight inside the distance.
He brings the big advantage of momentum, having won his last seven fights, and stopped his last opponent Eliecer Quezada in the fifth round. It was a sweet win for Cardoza since Quezada had twice outpointed him in the past.
This is a fighter who is coming into a tough environment with nothing to lose and everything to gain. And that's sometimes how upsets happen.
Adrian Hernandez has been knocked out twice in his professional career—in 2011 against Kompayak Porpramook and earlier in his career against Oscar Ibarra. Both of his losses have come inside the distance, but this is only a problem usually when you face an opponent who has power.
Unless Cardoza has been particularly effective at hiding something from us, punching power shouldn't be too big a problem in this fight.
Yader Cardoza hasn't fought outside of Nicaragua and hasn't faced anything that can remotely be considered world-class opposition. And that holds true even in the light flyweight division where fighters will often pad their records due to the lack of many compelling fights.
It's simply hard to gauge what he brings to the table or whether he will have enough to beat the first really world-class fighter he'll step in the ring with.
This fight appears to be a pretty easy call.
On the one hand you have Adrian Hernandez, who most consider no worse than the second best light flyweight fighter in the world. He is a two-time world champion, has faced world-class opposition and will be fighting in his hometown in front of his fans.
In his two losses, he has been susceptible to fighters who can throw heavy punches, and he will not find that in front of him on Saturday night.
Hernandez has good power of his own and should be able to handle his opponent with relative ease.
Yader Cardoza is simply not ready for this type of fight at this stage. He's just 24 years old and has never fought away from home and never against an opponent the quality of Hernandez.
Compounding matters is that he doesn't appear to even have the slightest bit of power that can keep his Mexican foe off of him and he'll be facing a crowd that wants nothing more than to see him knocked out.
Expect experience and talent to come to the front as Hernandez wins this fight by wide unanimous decision.
Hernandez UD 12 Cardoza