Chordale “The Gift” Booker, with a record of 19 wins and 1 loss (8 KOs), stands at a significant crossroad in his career. At 32, he is set to defend his WBC US Super Welterweight title for the first time, facing off against Nicolas Hernandez, whose record stands at 27 wins, 6 losses, and 3 draws (12 KOs). This key encounter is the main event in an extensive pro-amateur card slated for August 12 at Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT.
Booker, hailing from Stamford, is stepping into the ring for the third time this year. He’s grateful to CES Boxing for providing him with opportunities for activity, especially after his one-match-per-year stint from 2020 through 2022. This renewed momentum, he says, enables him to “build on whatever went well” in his previous fights and rectify any mistakes.
Ever since his disheartening knockout defeat at the hands of Austin “Ammo” Williams in 2022, Booker has sought to up his game. Reflecting on his only career loss, he admits to having taken a fight in a higher weight category for the exposure and financial benefit. However, he had underestimated how prolonged inactivity could impact his performance.
A torn Achilles tendon, followed by the COVID pandemic, kept him away from the ring. Rushing his comeback, he aimed for bouts with competitors at the level he had previously been at, without taking the time to regain his rhythm. This proved to be a significant error.
Nevertheless, this setback may have been a disguised blessing for Booker. It served as a wake-up call, highlighting the importance of dedication, discipline, and professional seriousness to achieving potential. He needed to focus on his nutrition and craft-perfecting to regain his strength and competitiveness.
Returning to his natural weight class of 154, Booker invested time in studying legendary fighters like Julio Cesar Chavez, Larry Holmes, Bernard Hopkins, and Marvin Hagler. This helped him comprehend the sport’s finer aspects – balancing offense and defense, managing distance with jabs, and capitalizing on opponent’s errors.
In his fight against Daniel Aduku, which won him the WBC US Super Welterweight title, Booker exemplified his learning. He broke down Aduku’s defenses gradually and finally landed a right jab and straight left that forced Aduku to hold. A swift left to the chin then had Aduku crashing to the ropes.
Booker plans to maintain his knockout streak against Nicolas Hernandez. A southpaw from Reading, Pennsylvania, Hernandez is known for his pressure tactics and volume punching. Booker intends to exploit any mistakes Hernandez makes and make him “pay” for them.
In the backdrop of his loss to Williams, Booker is resolute in consistently delivering impressive performances, especially in his home state of Connecticut. He dreams of becoming a northeastern star attraction.
Additionally, Booker is involved in community work through his “Go the Distance” Foundation. He aims to inspire others by demonstrating that a single setback does not define one’s career or life.
“Summer Heat 2023” tickets are quickly selling out, with prices ranging from $46 to $165. A single ticket grants access to both the pro card and “Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Invitational” amateur showcase. The doors open at 4 pm, with the first amateur bout commencing at 4:30 pm and the pro card beginning at 6:30 pm. Fans can secure their tickets at CESfights.com, Ticketmaster, or at the Mohegan Sun box office.