IBF cruiserweight champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez (29-1, 14 KOs) successfully defended his title tonight in defeating 43-year-old former WBA cruiserweight champion Firat Arslan (34-8-2, 21 KOs) by a 12 round split decision at the Messehalle, Erfurt, Thüringen, Germany. The final judges’ scores were 115-113, 116-113 for Hernandez and 115-113 for Arslan.
Later tonight, IBF cruiserweight champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez (28-1, 14 KOs) will be defending his title against 43-year-old fringe contender Firat Arslan (34-7-2, 21 KOs) at the Messehalle, Erfurt, Thüringen, Germany.
“The Black Panther” reunited with championship coach Fritz Sdunek
Last year former WBC cruiserweight champion Juan Carlos Gomez successfully returned to his old weight division at 200 lbs. after campaigning at heavyweight for more than 10 years. Now “The Black Panther” is eyeing another world title shot for 2014. “I would love to fight against Marco Huck because I think he is the best cruiserweight in the world right now – at least until I beat him”, states Gomez.
Because Huck is set to defend his WBO championship against Firat Arslan on January 25 in Stuttgart, Gomez is now calling out fellow Cuban defector and IBF titlist Yoan Pablo Hernandez.
IBF cruiserweight champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez (28-1, 14 KO’s) will be back in action on March 8th against an opponent still to be determined in Stuttgart, Germany, according to Fightnews. Hernandez, 29, is coming off of a 10th round knockout win over Alexander Alekseev last month in Bamberg, Germany. Hernandez knocked Alekseev down three times in the fight before the bout was eventually halted in the 3rd.
The fight showed pretty clearly that the 6’4″ southpaw Hernandez needs to start facing better opposition he’s defended his title three times in beating Steve Cunningham, Troy Ross and now Alekseev, but he’s not been in with anyone really good that could challenge him. It would be nice to see Hernandez against his first quality challenger like Ola Afolabi or Rakhim Chakhkiev, as both of them are worlds better than the guys Hernandez has been fighting.
By Dwight Chittenden: IBF cruiserweight champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez (26-1, 13 KO’s) will be defending his title tonight against the dangerous #3 IBF Troy Ross (25-2, 16 KO’s) at the Stechert Arena, in Bamberg, Bayem, Germany. Although the 6’4″ Hernandez will be sporting a five inch height advantage over the 5’11” Ross, this still could turn out to be a very tough fight for Hernandez due to Ross’s excellent power.
If there’s one area where Hernandez is badly flawed it’s in the chin department. He doesn’t seem to be able to take a good shot without being wobbled badly or knocked down. Luckily for him the cruiserweight division doesn’t have a lot of big punchers because he’d likely not be where he is today if that was the case. Ross obviously is well aware of Hernandez’s flaws in the chin department and he’ll be looking to take him out with each shot he throws.
Hernandez, 27, has a 12 fight winning streak dating back to 2008. He was stopped in the 3rd round in March of 2008 in a shocking loss to Wayne Braithwaite in a fight where Hernandez chose to slug the big hitting Braithwaite instead of boxing him. After that fight Hernandez’s trainer because to slowly alter his style to make him fight in a more conservative manners so that he could use his reach and avoid getting hit as much. Hernandez didn’t look good at first, getting shaken up badly by Michael Simms in a close 8 round majority decision win in October of 2008, but Hernandez has gotten better with each fight.