Local action returns as Layla McCarter and Melissa Hernandez face off for a third time inside of the Orleans

Melissa Hernandez and Layla McCarter weighing in (Photo: Chris Robinson)

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By Chris Robinson

Before I moved to Las Vegas in late October 2009, I already had a vested interest in the fighting city. This was due to of all the high-profile events that come through the town as well as because of the local support the city has towards the sport.

One thing I do wish I had seen more of the past five years, would be a flourishing fight series on the weekends. I remember having pulled up BoxRec.com and having seen the results of some local events at the Orleans, or the venue formerly known as the Hilton, and envisioning some great ballroom type action.

I also know the city was a special place decades prior, as my man Michael Marley fondly recalled hitting up the Silver Slipper and catching bouts when he was coming up in the game.

And while some of the local mystique has since disappeared, I’m happy to see a bit of a hometown revival later tonight as two of the top female ambassadors in recent years, Layla McCarter and Melissa Hernandez, face off for a third time when they meet inside of the Orleans Hotel and Casino.

Having spent a few days in camp with McCarter (35-13-5, 8 KO’s) at the nearby H.I.T. Factory Gym, I can attest that she has been putting in serious work. Her longtime coach, Luis Tapia, has always touted McCarter’s ability and predicts a stoppage victory over Hernandez.

For her part, at yesterday’s final press conference/weigh-in, Hernandez (19-5-3, 6 KO’s) embodied the image of a seasoned, mentally tough veteran who has been down this road several times before. Hernandez suffered a loss to McCarter in February of 2007 and came back two months later to turn the tables and capture a majority decision over eight rounds.

It’s been over seven years since McCarter and Hernandez shared the ring but you can sense that another fast-paced melee could be in store. And while there was little to no trash talk between the women yesterday, expect a much more tense tone later tonight when the bells rings.

Chris Robinson can be reached at CRobinson@hustleboss.com

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