While all attention was on Nigerian-born heavyweight boxer, Anthony Olaseni Oluafemi Joshua, as he fell in a shock loss to Mexico’s Andy Ruiz Jnr on Saturday in New York, USA, another boxer with the same ancestral root, Onoriode Ehwarieme was also floored on the same night.
Ehwarieme fell at a separate venue in God’s Own Country, when Joshua crumbled woefully on his debut in the United States, thereby losing all of his three heavyweight belts, while the other pugilist from Nigeria also had doubts cast over his dream of one day becoming a world champion.
Commentators mocked that Ehwarieme’s ring appearance on Saturday did not last long enough for anyone to fully grasp how to pronounce his name, talk less of thinking whether it is even worth remembering.
Despite earlier being lavishly touted as a ‘knockout artist’ from Nigeria, Ehwarieme suffered the first loss of his professional career when he was knocked out in the first round by Rodney Hernandez in their heavyweight bout at Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, California, USA.
Although Hernandez had been rated as a ‘journeyman’ heading into the fight, no one will ever forget his left hook that put Ehwarieme down late in round one and left the Nigerian struggling to beat the count, but then deemed by the referee as unfit to continue.
It was the opening bout of a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) card on FS1 tripleheader, but aired on FS2 due to a USA Major League Baseball (MLB) game that was on at the same time.
A senior writer for BoxingScene.com, Jake Donovan disclosed that he official time of the knock out was two minutes, 59 seconds of round one, as Hernandez made the best of fighting at home in California to win his third straight bout, with the biggest win of his career, and advance his fight log to 13-7-2 (4KOs).
Donovan added thaty it was an anti-climax to a bout that promised to deliver all action, as both heavyweights were game for the cause, but Ehwarieme was a bit too brave for his own good.
Ehwarieme’s approach was understood, as he entered the night having scored 16 straight knockouts since going the distance in his pro debut, but he could not go a full round, as Hernandez connected with a left hook to floor the 31-year old Nigerian slugger.
Ehwarieme managed to beat the count of the referee, Rudy Barragan, but he was unable to regain his composure quickly enough and failed to fully convince the arbiter that he was fit enough to see round two.