Yoann Pablo Hernandez (29-1, 14ko), Cuba’s frequently inactive IBF cruiserweight champion, has been stripped of his title following yet more injury, again ruling him out of October 2nd’s clash with Argentina’s Victor Ramirez, who has now been upgraded to full champion status by the governing body after the fight was already previously postponed.
Ramirez (22-2, 17ko) will still box on the 2nd in Argentina, with British contender and IBF #14, Ovil McKenzie (25-12, 13ko) handed a surprise shot at the new South American champion.
On his social media accounts, “The Upsetter” – who is looked after by Frank Warren’s Queensbury Promotions, wrote;
“It’s just been made official. I will fight Victor Ramirez for the IBF world title on 2nd October in Argentina.”
The news will surely be a blow to Eddie Hearn and his fighter, Tony Bellew, who is hoping to land a cruiserweight world title shot in December, ostensibly down the IBF route where he holds a #8 ranking. In a recent chat with iFLtv, Bellew was promising a ‘big, big fight’ in December, alluding to the fact that it would likely be for a world title.
Bellew has been mentioning Hernandez for months now and was likely hoping that Ramirez, previously installed as interim champ, would postpone his October Argentina date and defend in England against him instead, probably on the big London card Eddie Hearn has in the capital on the 12th of that month.
It’s now unclear exactly what Bellew will do – his highest ranking is #3 with the WBO – whose new champion Krzysztof Glowacki recently dethroned long-time boss Marco Huck in the States, although for current British champion and perennial contender McKenzie, the late-notice opportunity of a lifetime has landed in his lap, and if Ovil is one thing, he is extremely tough and durable and prepared to attempt to grab his big chance.
“This is an opportunity I will not waste! #DreamComeTrue” the clearly delighted Jamaican born fighter also wrote following the news being announced.