Hernandez, a Mexican-American, enjoyed a distinguished career.
He racked up a record of 13-0 with 6 knockouts and a solid reputation as a future champion around Southern California, when he met former Julio César Chávez world title challenger Refugio Rojas on November 22, 1988. He beat Rojas, who had lasted seven rounds against Chávez, by a knockout in round six. This enabled Hernandez to enter the WBA Jr. Lightweight rankings.
In 1991 and with a 23-0 record, Hernandez got his first world title try, against Daniel Londas. Hernandez did not disappoint those who had predicted him to be a future world champion as he knocked out world champion Londas in nine rounds in front of Londas' hometown crowd, becoming World Junior Lightweight champion.
After three successful defenses, he fought Raúl Pérez in 1993. Hernandez had to settle for a first round technical draw due to a serious clash of heads early in Round 1. In the rematch later that year, Hernandez retained the world title by a knockout in round eight. He closed the year by defeating Harold Warren by decision to once again keep his title.
After eight successful title defenses, Hernandez vacated his WBA super featherweight title in order to face De La Hoya in the upcoming year.
De La Hoya
On September 9, the highly anticipated encounter between Hernandez and De La Hoya took place in Las Vegas. Hernandez lost for the first time in his career as he was knocked out in six rounds by the younger, heavier De La Hoya. Up until the fight's end, the judges had De La Hoya holding a lead on all three scorecards. After the loss Hernandez took some brief time off but by 1996 was back inside the ring, winning two bouts that year.
in 1997, he fought what almost turned into another controversial fight when he challenged Azumah Nelson for the WBC world Jr. Lightweight title. Ahead on all scorecards at the end of round seven, he was hit in his throat by a Nelson punch after the bell. He needed some time to recuperate from the illegal late hit, and WBC President José Sulaiman came to his corner and informed him that if he could not continue he would be declared winner by disqualification. Hernandez told Sulaiman something along the lines of, "I want to win it like real champions do," and he went the distance and defeated the great Azumah Nelson by a split decision.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Retirement
Hernandez defended the title three more times before losing the crown to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
In December 1998, after he was diagnosed with a blood clot and a torn cartilage muscle, he announced his retirement.
Hernandez vs Raúl Pérez - 1993
This was the first, and so far only, world title fight in which no punches were landed. Right after the initial bell, Perez headbutted Hernandez, and Perez bled profusely from an arterial vein on his forehead. The referee summoned the ring doctor, who decided the fight should be stopped as Perez required immediate surgery.
Major World Titles
WBA Super Featherweight
WBC Super Featherweight
UD 12 Carlos Hernandez, 1997
SD 12 Azumah Nelson, 1997
TKO Jorge Paez, 1995
UD 12 Jimmy Garcia, 1994
KO 8 Raul Perez, 1993
RTD 8 Floyd Mayweather Jr, 1998
RTD 6 Oscar De La Hoya, 1995
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