United State's Nico Miguel Hernandez, top, fights Ecuador's Carlos Eduardo Quipo Pilataxi. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Nico Hernandez will bring a boxing medal back to America.

The class, still to be determined.

But the Wichita, Kansas fighter has earned at least a bronze and snapped a U.S. medal drought in boxing that stretches to 2008.

Hernandez moved to 3-0 in the tournament with a tight unanimous decision victory over Ecuador's Carlos Quipo on Wednesday night.

Hernandez won 29-28 on all three cards and leaped in the air when the decision was read. Quipo dropped to his knees in stunned disbelief, losing the third round 10-9 after the judges scored it 19-19 through two.

Hernandez was coming off an upset win over the No. 2 seed in the light flyweight bracket, Vasilii Egorov of Russia.

Andre Ward was the last American male to win a gold medal in boxing in 2004 in Athens. Deontay Wilder won the bronze in 2008 and the American men had a medal-free trip to London four years ago.  

 "Knowing we didn't win a medal at the last Olympics, it gave me and my team a lot of motivation," Hernandez said. "We've all been together since we were younger on the youth team and the junior team. It's really competitive at practice, they push me, so it's really helped me out a lot. It means a lot to me coming in here and getting the job done."

Hernandez will become the first American light flyweight to medal since Michael Carbajal won silver in 1998.

The 20-year-old Hernandez graduated from North High School in Wichita.

 

 

How's this for a shocker _ the U.S. team is a surprising 5-1 at the Olympics with one more bout ahead on Monday night. The nine-man American team won only five fights in London and failed to bring home any medals for the first time ever. The 2016 six-man U.S. team has already won five times with more fighters yet to debut.

Hernandez has Uzbekistani fighter Hasanboy Dusmatov up next on Friday.

"I'm definitely excited about getting to this level where I'm at right now, but I'm not satisfied with the bronze medal," he said. "I came here to get gold, so that's something I'm going to continue to work toward."