Booker scorches Hernandez at ‘Summer Heat 2023’

UNCASVILLE, CT (August 13, 2023) – Chordale “The Gift” Booker (20-1, 9 KOs) turned in a masterful performance on Saturday night, dropping Nicolas Hernandez (27-7-3, 12 KOs) twice in round 7 for an explosive knockout at 2:41 of the round. The fight capped an 8-bout CES Boxing card that took place in front of a capacity crowd of 4,235 who showed up to Mohegan Sun Arena early to see the “Jimmy Burchfield Invitational,” a 10-bout amateur showcase that took place before the pro card. With the win, Booker retained the WBC US Super Welterweight title that he won at the same venue in April of this year. It was the third fight of 2023 for ‘The Gift,’ who was sharp from the opening bell. “This was very satisfying for me,” said Booker moments after the battle of southpaws. “I had some things I wanted to work on, and I had a tough guy in front of me who didn’t fall from the first shot. He was coming to win, and that’s what I wanted.” Booker took control of the fight in the opening round with sharp right jabs to Hernandez’s head and body. His game plan was to capitalize off the mistakes of his 39-year-old opponent with stinging counter shots. “He was reaching with his shots from the beginning, so I wanted to take advantage of that” explained Booker, who threw short, compact counter lefts hands and a sneaky right uppercut in round 2. “When he would throw his left hand, I would roll and come back with my left hand.” The 32-year-old Booker kept Hernandez guessing in round 3, varying his punches and speed. His Puerto Rican opponent out of Reading, PA seemed lost, getting countered every time he mounted an attack. “I was changing up my shots,” explains Booker. “He was ok standing really close to me, so I started putting my punches together, changing the pace of the shots and occasionally sitting down on my punches. That’s what got him: I would hit him with a number of punches, then a hard one, then a number of punches again. He never knew which one would be hard, so it disoriented him.” ‘The Gift’ began delivering a one-sided beating in round 4, stunning Hernandez with a right hook. The patient and composed Booker couldn’t miss with his counter punches, and it looked like the end was near. The ringside doctor checked on Hernandez in between rounds, and this seemed to give the Puerto Rican a sense of urgency. Hernandez came out swinging in round 5, finally landing a few punches of note, including a solid left to the body that momentarily forced Booker to back up and regroup. “I got a little too comfortable in front of him,” admitted Booker. “He caught me with a good left hand that knocked me off balance. It was cool though because I heard the crowd get loud. It created some drama. I liked that he came to fight because it lit a fire under me. He started yelling ‘come on!’ and I thought ‘wow, this dude really believes he can win this’”. The crowd included former world champions Tony Harrison, Vinny Paz, and ‘Bad’ Chad Dawson, as well as current undisputed super featherweight world champion Alycia Baumgardner, an amateur teammate of Booker’s who was invited into the ring just before the bout began. After a contested round 6, Booker stunned Hernandez at the end of a combination in round 7. Hernandez fought back valiantly, but Chordale began landing at will. Just when it seemed like Hernandez could absorb Booker’s power, the Stamford native finally dropped Hernandez with a furious combination punctuated by a left hand. “The first knockdown was an accumulation of punches,” described Booker. “Instead of going for a hard shot, I was touching him everywhere he went. He had nowhere to feel like he was safe. He kept running into the next shot, and his hands started to come down. I knew he would get back up once he hit the canvas because it wasn’t a hard shot that got him down, it was an accumulation.” The game Hernandez beat the count, but Booker followed up with a leaping right hook that dropped the Puerto Rican in a heap, causing referee Johnny Callas to immediately halt the bout. The ending was reminiscent of the left hook that ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosely launched to end his bout against Ricardo Mayorga in 2015. It would’ve made Roy Jones Jr. proud. “That’s a shot I work on with my coaches,” explained Booker. “I try to work on shots that are going to surprise guys. I threw a lot of straight shots tonight, so I didn’t think he would be prepared for that, and he fell right into it.” With his 20th win in the bag, Booker would like to remain active and focus on a world title shot in 2024. “I want to stay active; it keeps me sharp,” said an elated Booker of his immediate goals. “I love Mohegan – the fans here are so supportive. Having Tony Harrison and Alycia Baumgardner in attendance meant a lot to me. I’m knocking on everybody’s door. I would love to bring a title or a big fight here. We can do Tim Tszyu, James Metcalf, Brian Mendoza, or even someone who recently lost to those guys. Whatever I can do to get myself to the next level.” Hall of famer Jaime “The Hurricane” Clampitt wins battle of attrition In the co-feature, Jaime Clampitt continued her successful comeback, nearly shutting out tough Ecuadorian Josefina Vega (9-6, 4 KOs) for a unanimous 8 round decision in a Super Lightweight contest. Scores were 80-72 (2x) and 78-74 for the 4-time champion. As promised at the final press conference, the women came to fight, with the shorter Vega looking to flurry while the stronger Clampitt countered with sharp overhand rights. “I felt good, really focused,” said Clampitt of her performance. “We didn’t know what to expect with her because it was really hard to get any film on her, so I didn’t know what I was going to get. She definitely was in shape. She came to fight.” What the Warwick, RI resident got was an all-out brawl in round 3, with the former champion getting the best of the exchanges and Vega beginning to breath heavily in between exchanges. An emboldened Clampitt began to press the action in round 4, sitting on her right hands and forcing the Quito native to retreat. “Early on I landed some flush right hands and I think it set her back a bit,” said Clampitt. “I was trying to go for the knockout, but she was there to win. She’s very tough.” Clampitt began walking Vega down in round 6 behind a steady jab and heavy right hands. The 39-year-old Vega was game, but it was evident in round 7 that she couldn’t hurt Clampitt. “I didn’t feel any power, and because of that I should’ve taken a few more chances,” admitted Clampitt. “I was trying to be safe and work behind my jab and set up body shots. It was a little difficult because she was shorter than me, but I felt like my right hand was landing really well.” Despite being outgunned, Vega engaged Clampitt in another non-stop exchange throughout the 8th and final round. While the Ecuadorian didn’t have enough firepower to hurt Clampitt, she gave a good accounting of herself, providing the 47-year-old with an opportunity to display her skillset and the tremendous shape she was in. “It was a good fight for me to showcase what I was working on,” explained Clampitt. “Next time I just need to follow through a little bit more and throw more combinations to get the knockout.” With another win in a hall-of-fame career, the former two division champion improved to 25-6-2 (7) as she closes in on another title shot. “I want to keep going,” said Clampitt. “I’m 47, but I don’t feel like I’m 47. I feel healthy and strong, and I have the passion for it. I have the right people behind me, so I want to see where I can take it.” Other Action Undefeated Super Featherweight Alejandro Paulino blitzed his Argentine opponent Julian Aristule in one round. CES Boxing’s newest signing showed why he was one of the most sought-after prospects in New England, dropping Aristule with a left hook moments into the bout. The 53-fight veteran beat the count but was greeted by an all-out assault punctuated by a big concussive right hand that dropped him for the count at 1:54 of the round. New London’s Paulino improved to 15-0 (13) with the win, while Aristule dropped to 35-18-1 (18). New Bedford, MA’s Wilson Mascarenhas (8-1, 3 KOs) continued his assault on the jr. welterweight division, impressively breaking down and stopping Anthony Mora (2-1, 1 KO) in round 3 of a scheduled 6 round bout. After a feel-out first round, Wilson landed a short hook, right hand combination in round 2 and began to tee off on a hurt Mora, who was covering up and looking to survive the storm. There was a long break in between rounds as the ringside physician checked out Mora, but ‘Ill Will’ went for the kill as soon as the action resumed. New Britain’s Mora seemed to be fighting off instinct but was outgunned and taking a lot of punishment as the round came to an end. The ringside physician had seen enough in between rounds, advising referee Johnny Callas to stop the bout. Wilson is now 2-0 since returning from a horrific stabbing he suffered in March 2022. Anthony “ATV” Velasquez (13-0-1, 12 KOs) made quick work of Argentina’s Mario Bustos (7-10, 3 KOs), launching a hellacious body attack punctuated by left hooks that dropped Bustos twice for a knockout at 1:48 of the very first stanza. With the win, the junior middleweight out of Springfield, MA bounced back from a disappointing draw in his April bout at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Mike “The Savage” Kimbel improved to 3-0 (2), winning a shutout unanimous decision over Brockton, MA’s Stephen Davis (1-1, 1 KO) in a 4 round super lightweight bout. Kimbel, who is trained by former light heavyweight champion ‘Bad’ Chad Dawson, was too strong for the game Davis. The Waterbury, CT native won the first two rounds with sharper punches. Davis countered effectively in round 3, but the stalking Kimbel staggered him near the end of the round with a heavy left hook, right hand combination. Davis stuck to his jab in round 4, but ‘The Savage’ stunned him with a left hook that caused Davis to retreat with Kimbel in hot pursuit as the bout came to an end. Scores were 40-36 (3x). In a welterweight bout, Jeffrey Gonzalez (4-0, 2 KOs) knocked out Hartford native Joe Wilson Jr. (3-6) at 1:54 of round 3. Gonzalez dropped Wilson twice in round 1 with crushing right hands. “Jabbing Joe” survived the assault, but it was evident that Gonzalez was hurting Wilson with every clean shot that he landed. The East Haven native caught Wilson with a sneaky right uppercut in round 2 that dropped Wilson for a third time. Despite being completely outgunned, Wilson fought back valiantly in round 3, but Gonzalez landed a counter right hand near the end of the round that caused Joe’s glove to touch the canvas. Rather than allowing Wilson to take anymore punishment, Referee Harvey Dock wisely stopped the bout. In the opening pro bout of the evening, Slawomir Bohdziewicz improved to 2-0 (2) with an impressive knockout of Gabriel Costa (2-5). The Polish prospect continuously caught the Woburn, MA resident in round 1, first with left hooks and later with right hands as Costa moved straight back. Costa pressured the Stamford resident in round 2, looking to disrupt Bohdziewicz by switching from orthodox to southpaw and even spinning after missing a punch. The Polish prospect was unnerved, however, going to the body before launching a series of stinging uppercuts that dropped Costa hard. Referee Harvey Dock reached a count of 10 with Costa on his knees at 2:40 of round 2.

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