Jesse Hernandez of Fort Worth beat Ernesto Garza of Saginaw, Mich., in a 10-round, split decision super bantamweight fight late Friday night at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, N.Y.
The fight was scored 95-94 Hernandez, 95-93 Garza, and 97-93 Hernandez.
Hernandez, who attended Castleberry High School, improves to 11-1 with seven knockouts.
The bout was on the undercard of the WBC and IBF super middleweight fight between Claressa Shields and Tori Nelson that was broadcast on Showtime. Shields dominated the previously undefeated Nelson en route to a 10-round unanimous decision.
Hernandez, who is in his third year of a boxing comeback at age 27, was knocked down by Garza (9-3, 5 KOs) in the second round, but he recovered to capture the win.
Hernandez landed 50 percent of his power punches and connected on 40 percent of all his punches compared to just 28 percent for Garza.
“I think it should have been a unanimous decision,” Hernandez said. “I’ve always been a slow starter and I feel like I lost the first two rounds, especially with the knockdown. But I won pretty much every round after that. I maybe lost three rounds.
“I’m not completely happy with my performance. I have to control my distance and my range a little bit better. I need to go back to the gym and work on those things. Before the summer comes, I hope to have another fight and I hope it’s on Showtime.”
Hernandez threw just 719 total punches compared to more than 1,000 by Garza.
“I give Garza a lot of credit for getting in the ring and knocking me down. He hung in there for 10 rounds even after I caught him with some good shots,” Hernandez said. “He was able to withstand those shots, but all that said, I still think it should have been a unanimous decision.”