In July 2022, Wichita will not only host USA Boxing’s National Junior Olympics for the first time in the city’s history, but will also be the site of the first bouts in a new, combined amateur-professional fight series, showcased by Nico Hernandez – Wichita native, an IBA Flyweight World Title holder, 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist and winner of the 2012 and 2013 National Junior Olympics.
Dubbed a homecoming event for Hernandez, “Nico Hernandez Returns” will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, at Charles Koch Arena. It will meld professional boxers with elite-level amateur fighters and will be the kickoff to a new fight series presented by Ares Entertainment titled “USA Fight Night.” The feature bout of the professional-level portion of the event will feature Nico Hernandez taking on a competitor to be announced in the coming days. In total, there will be five amateur bouts and five professional fights, all card and bouts subject to change.
“We’re thrilled to welcome USA Boxing and its athletes and fans to the heart of the country for the first time this summer, and we’re especially excited to host such a prestigious USA Boxing event combined with the debut of Ares Entertainment’s new professional/amateur fighting series, featuring Wichita’s own Nico Hernandez,” said Josh Howell, vice president of sports development at Visit Wichita. “It will be an amazing week of boxing in Wichita, and we encourage the community to get their tickets to support both of these competitions.”
All athletes and coaches competing in the National Junior Olympics will be able to attend the “Nico Hernandez Returns” event at no cost. The event is open to the public as well and tickets can be purchased through Wichita State Athletics online ticket office.
“We’re proud to be able to bring such a unique fight to Wichita during this year’s National Junior Olympics, and to provide an opportunity for younger amateurs to see the path forward being duked out right before their eyes,” said Joe Kelly, co-founder of Ares Entertainment.
The 50th National Junior Olympics, held July 11-16, 2022, at the Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center, will bring the nation’s best up and coming boxers to the ring in one of the oldest and most historic USA Boxing national tournaments that has seen numerous Olympic medalists, including 2020 Tokyo Olympic medalists Keyshawn Davis (Norfolk, Va.), Oshae Jones (Toledo, Ohio), Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Richard Torrez Jr. (Tulare, Calif.). Tickets to the National Junior Olympics can be purchased at https://selectaseat.com/boxing. Those interested in volunteering can contact Kelli Elmore, sport coordinator with Visit Wichita, at email@example.com.
“With the addition of Ares Entertainment’s event to the National Junior Olympics being held in Wichita, you will see every level of amateur and professional boxing when USA Boxing comes to the heart of the country next month,” said Michael Campbell, USA Boxing Events and Operations Manager. “It’s truly a unique opportunity to witness professional boxing in front of both fans and those aspiring to get to that level of the sport.”
About Visit Wichita
Visit Wichita markets the greater Wichita area as a major convention and tourism destination, thereby enhancing the economic development of the city, county, region and state. Visit Wichita is led by president and CEO Susie Santo, and in 2019 travel and tourism contributed more than $1.1 billion in economic impact to the greater Wichita area.
About Ares Entertainment
Las Vegas-based, Ares Entertainment, was established by combat sports industry veterans, Joe Kelly and Michael Abul in 2022. With over 50 years of impressive, combined experience and a proven track record of success in the combative sports space, Ares Entertainment has quickly become one of boxing’s most in-demand promoters of live sporting events and entertainment. For more information on Ares Entertainment, please visit aresentertainment.com.