Friday Night Fights features three local boxers

Sara Beth Purdy

The University of Texas hosted ESPN’s Friday Night Fights last weekend in the Frank Erwin Center. The night featured a title bout between Fernando Guerrero and Grady Brewer for the North American Boxing Federation super welterweight championships. Brewer won the belt with a technical knockout in the fourth round. In all, six fights took place at the Erwin center, two of them featuring Austin natives.

Cory Yett, who attended Reagan High School over a decade ago, won his fight in 23 seconds with a technical knockout in the first round. Yett faced off against Zach Briones, another local. Briones took a hit to the face that left him disoriented, forcing the referee in the ring to end the bout early. Yett’s record improved to 3-1 with his first career knockout. Briones fell to 1-1.

“It has been hard work. It has been months and months of preparation, hard days in the gym, weight loss … and it just happened,” Yett said. “I was more prepared than before — I just took care of business, we got it done.”

Gilbert Vera went six rounds in the ring against Calvin Pitts. The outcome of the bout went to a judge’s decision, and was ruled a draw. Vera’s record is now 11-3-2 with five knockouts.

ESPN dedicated the fight night to two-time World Champion Jesus Chavez. Chavez is a boxer from Mexico who currently lives in Austin. He earned the title WBC Super Featherweight Champion in 2003 and the title IBF Lightweight Champion in 2005. Chavez acknowledged that boxing has taken backseat to other sports in Austin and advocated for the sport. He said that while boxing has made progress in Austin, there is still room to grow.

“Let’s keep boxing alive in Austin, Texas,” Chavez said. “I think that we have accomplished that.”