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Southland boxer Genaro Hernandez, a former world champion, dies at 45

Boxer1 Genaro "Chicanito" Hernandez, who ascended through the Southern California boxing ranks to become a two-time world super-featherweight champion, died Tuesday after more than two years of battling cancer, his friend and boxing publicist Bill Caplan said.

Hernandez was 45.

He was 38-2-1 with 17 knockouts in a career that stretched from 1984 to 1998 and included victories over Azumah Nelson, Carlos Hernandez and Jorge Paez.

After making a splash at the Great Western Forum in 1991, even on a card that included Thomas Hearns, Hernandez's only losses were to Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

California boxers Andre Ward, Robert Guerrero and others paid tribute to the boxer Tuesday on Twitter. Hernandez spent recent years calling fights on television. His life was covered in a story earlier this year by Times sports columnist Bill Dwyre.

Caplan personally escorted Hernandez to eight of 10 cancer treatments at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. The treatments for rhabdomyosarcoma and all travel costs were paid for by promoter Bob Arum, who never had Hernandez in his stable but later employed him as a broadcaster.

"He was a fighter, he'd never give up, and just thinking about it now is very hard for me," Caplan said.

Hernandez helped call the great December 2010 fight between Humberto Soto and Urbano Antillon at the Honda Center in Anaheim, and was beaming afterward.

Caplan said Hernandez, who lived in Mission Viejo, is survived by his wife, Liliana, son Steven, daughter Amanda, three brothers, two sisters and his father, Joe Rudy Hernandez.

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-- Lance Pugmire

Photo: Genaro Hernandez following his victory over Carlos Hernandez at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles in 1997. Credit: Markus Boesch / Allsport

 
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