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Jose Rodriguez Determined to KO 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist Nico Hernandez In "Rapid Fire" Main Event

June 17th Live on CBSN from Hartman Arena, Kansas

(May 11th) Unfazed Mexico-native Jose Rodriguez is determined to knockout 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez on Saturday, June 17, in the "KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire" headline event.


Wichita-native Hernandez (1-0, 1 KO) will be fighting at home against Rodriquez (2-0, 2 KOs), a flyweight living in Wisconsin,in the six-round main event that will air (10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT) on CBS Sports Network live from Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.  


"KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire" is a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC.


Hernandez drew nearly 3,200 fans for his professional debut, March 25, in nearby Mulvane (KS), in which the 21-year-old future star stopped Patrick Gutierrez in the fourth round of the main event, which was also televised live on CBS Sports Network.


Rodriguez is chasing the American dream having moved 12 years ago to Wisconsin for a job opportunity and better life for his family.  He had started boxing in Mexico but was unable to continue because he needed to work.  A few years after he moved to Wisconsin, Rodriguez decided he wanted to box again, although he had a difficult time finding a trainer who wanted to work with a 24-year-old novice.  Trainer Eddie Haynes gave Rodriguez an opportunity to join Team Certified, which includes former world title challenger Angel Manfredy, who also works Rodriguez' corner.


After a brief yet undefeated amateur career, highlighted by Rodriguez' gold-medal performance in the in the Milwaukee Golden Gloves Championships, Jose turned pro last July in Milwaukee against Nicholas Brand. Now, he has a pair of first-round knockouts, the last this past September against Richard Tallmadge, who was coached by Nate Jones, ironically, also an American Olympic bronze-medal winner in 1996.


Rodriguez, who drives 1 ½-hours to train at his gym, works the night shift in a factory.  "I fight for my wife and three children," the 29-year-old Rodriquez said.  "This is a very important fight for me because, when I knock him out, it'll open doors for me and my team.  I train very hard every day because I want to make a living boxing, or at least enough to work less hours, so I can see my kids more than the hour a day I do now.  I've already lost too much time


"This is going to be a good action-fight, from start to finish, as long as it lasts.  I like to fight inside, putting a lot of pressure on my opponent.  I don't want to leave it in the hands of the judges.  No decision, I'm knocking him out.  If he thinks this is going to be an easy fight, he'll know who I am after our fight.  I'm going to finish him!"


Unbeaten Canadian featherweight Marc "Gwapo" Pagcaliwangan (10-0-1, 8 KOs) takes on Mexican invader Angel "Terrible" Monrreal (9-8-1, 3 KOs) in the eight-round co-feature.  Pagacaliwangan is a Taekwondo-trained fighter of Filipino heritage.  He is a three-time Ontario Golden Gloves and two-time Provincial amateur champion in his native Canada.   


Wichita junior middleweight Noel Esquada (7-3-2, 5 KOs) meets 2012 Chicago Golden Gloves champion Limberth "El Gallito" Ponce (12-3, 9 KOs) in a scheduled six-round bout.  Garden City (KS) featherweight prospect Eric Vargas (2-0, 1 KO) faces pro-debuting Humberto "Tito" Tellez, fighting out of Winfield (KS). 


Non-televised "KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire" undercard bouts featuring additional Kansas fighters will soon be announced.  All fights and fighters are subject to change.


Ticket prices are $175.00 (VIP ringside package ticket which includes a limited-edition event T-shirt and a ticket to the official after-party with a meet-and-greet opportunity), $150.00 (floor seat which includes a limited-edition event T-shirt), $75.00, $35.00 and $20.00.  Tickets will also be sold in Wichita at Angela's Café (2119 W. 21st St. N), or call Team Nico (Jeremiah @ 316. 393.3743 or Lewis @ 316.806.0144.


This is an all-ages show. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. CT with the opening bout scheduled at 7:00 p.m. CT.


About Neon Star Sports & Entertainment (NSSE)

NSSE is a content company whose focus is creating original and joint venter media properties - unscripted, scripted, events and digital programming - for cross-platform distribution.  In this highly competitive digital age, NSSE specializes in the development and production of corporate branding designed with your target audience and accelerated consumer growth in mind.  Visit us on Twitter @Neonstarmedia or Facebook KO Night Boxing, LLC, REV Sports Entertainment Inc. (MAVTV Canada) and Neon Star Media LLC are subsidiary companies of Neon Star Sports & Entertainment Inc.


About Hartman Arena

Hartman Arena, with a total seating capacity of 6,750, is the home to great live entertainment, indoor sports and community events, and is managed by VenuWorks, America's emerging leader in venue management.


About VenuWorks

VenuWorks is a leader in venue management, providing customized solutions for multi-purpose sports, entertainment and recreation facilities, theaters and conference and convention centers throughout the country, offering full service management services including operations, event booking and marketing.  VenuWorks is headquartered in Ames, IA and was founded in 1996. For more information, please visit   


CONTACTS: Bob Trieger, KO Night Boxing,, 978.590.0470, @FightPublicist 

2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist Nico Hernandez Returns  "Rapid Fire" June 17th on CBS Sports Network,

LIVE from Hartman Arena, Kansas!

(KO Night Boxing, LLC and TITLE Boxing)

(May 1st) 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez returns to the ring on Saturday, June 17, at home in Wichita for his second professional fight. "KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire" will air (10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT) on CBS Sports Network live from Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas. 


Wichita native Hernandez will face unbeaten Mexican flyweight Jose Rodriquez (2-0, 2 KOs)in the six-round main event.


In his professional debut on March 25th, Hernandez turned in an impressive performance, entertaining nearly 3,200 passionate Kansas fans as he defeated Patrick Gutierrez in the fourth round of the main event. The fight was also televised on CBS Sports Network.

(picture courtesy of TITLE Boxing) 

The 21-year-old Hernandez displayed tremendous poise and a few tweaks to his amateur style, adding a devastating body attack, in addition to effectively switching from his orthodox stance to southpaw at times.


"I feel that there will be even more people there this fight than at my pro debut," Hernandez said.  "I live only a 10 to 15-minute drive from Hartman Arena, north of Wichita.


"I worked hard on body punching for my pro debut.  I didn't do that in the amateurs (no scoring points) and I'm getting use to switching to southpaw.  Both were in our game plan and successful in my firsts fight.  I'm excited to get right back in the ring, especially at home.  Our plan is to fight every two to three months and have a total of four fights this year."


"KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire" is a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC.


"Gutierrez was the perfect opponent for Nico's pro debut," commented John Andersen, who promotes Hernandez as well as the June 17th show.  "He was tough but now it's time to step it up a little against a 2-0 opponent with two knockouts.  Nico is starting to climb the ladder to get him where we want him to go.  We need to move him quicker than an average fighter, largely due to his amateur background, and he'll probably have only one more six-round bout after this before moving him up to eight.


"I thought he looked a little nervous in his pro debut at the start, but that's expected for a fighter making his pro debut at home in front of nearly 3,200 people, and after that he was great.  We couldn't have asked for anything more and he did get in some rounds that will be helpful.   


"This fight will be close to where Nico lives. Nico really connects to kids in the community, often speaking at local schools, and this is the perfect opportunity for parents to bring their children to watch him fight on a weekend night.


"We're calling this show, 'Rapid Fire,' primarily because of Nico's exciting style, firing crisp combinations in rapid succession, in addition to his activity level as he comes right back to fight so quickly."


Hernandez' father and head trainer, Lewis Hernandez, believes fans will see a more improved, well-rounded fighter in this fight.  "Nico showed his body punching and he switched around a little to fight lefthanded," he explained, "which weren't part of his boxing style in the amateurs.  Fans will see the fighter Nico really is but this fight he'll get back to boxing more.  I told him that he needed to go to the body as a professional fighter but that each punch doesn't have to be as hard.    Sometimes I need to remind him of that because he's a fighter at heart.


"I knew he'd be okay in his pro debut (nerves-wise) because he gets going as the fight goes on.  When he hurts his opponent, he comes on even stronger.  I just tell him to box and be himself.  He's always well-conditioned so he can go rounds without a problem.  I want him to be fast and elusive to take away his opponents' body and then, in later rounds, go back to boxing.  He fought at 115-pounds but he'll be back to 112 for this fight.  Nico was strong at 115 and he'll be very strong at flyweight."


A 29-year-old native of Mexico who fights out of Markesan, Wisconsin, Rodriguez (2-0, 2 KOs) has two first-round knockouts in a pair of pro fights.  Rodriguez is trained by four-time world title challenger Angel Manfredy, whose invaluable experience from fighting Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Stevie Johnston and Diego Corrales certainly aids his fighter. Manfredy (43-8-1, 32 KOs) had statement victories over Arturo Gatti, Julio Diaz and Ivan Robinson, among the more notables.


Additional "KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire" fights will soon be announced.  All fights and fighters are subject to change.

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