Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield (18-0-1, 11 KOS) edged ever closer to a world title shot by putting away game Christopher Fernandez (21-16-1, 12 KOs) in round eight at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. last Saturday night.
Mayfield, 32, fighting for the first time in 11 months, rattled Fernandez with head shots in the opening rounds. Fernandez, 37, walked forward, but didn’t throw very many punches. Mayfield, of San Francisco, continued to control the bout in round three.
In round four, Mayfield connected with his money punch, the right hand. Fernandez staggered to the ropes with Mayfield in hot pursuit. Two more right hands sent Hernandez to the canvas. He got up and attempted to fight back.
With Fernandez wary of his right, Mayfield unleashed a sweeping left hook that deposited Fernandez on his back. Again, the gutsy fighter beat the count.
Fernandez ate more leather in rounds five and six. In the next stanza, Mayfield had Fernandez reeling, but couldn’t put him away. The reprieve wouldn’t last. He pummeled Fernandez with a barrage of punches in round eight. A wicked left hook to the liver sent Fernandez to his knees. He was unable to rise before referee Ray Corona reached the count of ten.
The time was 2:59 of round eight.
Mayfield, ranked number four by the WBA and number two by the WBO, will likely face WBA champion Khabib Allakhverdiev in the fall.
Both fighters are promoted by Top Rank.