By Connor Beach
A Huntington-based boxer is once again set to headline a fight at The Paramount when Star Boxing hosts the 34th edition of its “Rockin’ Fights” series.
Johnny “Hitman” Hernandez, 27, of Huntington, is scheduled to make his 12th appearance in the ring at The Paramount next Friday in the co-main event for Star Boxing.
Hernandez, 9-4, is set to take on Texan Marquis Hawthorne, 6-9, in front of the hometown Huntington crowd in the 140-pound division.
“Both Johnny and Marquis have earned the right to be in this fight,” Star Boxing CEO Joe DeGuardia said. “Johnny and Marquis always show up in phenomenal shape with great energy on fight night, and I expect a thrilling fight.”
Hernandez is the second boxer from Huntington to feature in the main event at The Paramount recently. Chris Algieri made his comeback to the ring during a Star Boxing fight at The Paramount in November.
Joining Hernandez and Hawthorne at the top of the card will be junior heavyweight fighters Joel Djeko, of Belgium, and Italian Simone Federici. Djeko and Federici will rely on brute strength for victory, while Hernandez will rely on footwork and conditioning to defeat Hawthorne in the pair’s lightweight bout.
“There are no secrets to success,” Hernandez said. “It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failures.”
The fight will be Hernandez’s second main event at The Paramount, and DeGuardia said he hopes the fighter can impress in front of the friendly crowd. Although Hernandez lost his last fight to Danny Gonzalez, he has a reputation for getting stronger as fights stretch into the later rounds.
“In his last fight Johnny showed grit and we will always support our fighters, win or lose, when they perform like he did,” DeGuardia said.
Hawthorne will not be easy to beat. He is coming off a recent upset over previously unbeaten boxer Ronnie Austion at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.
The undercard fights are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 22, and tickets for the event range from $50-$200. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online at Paramountny.com.