Yoan Pablo Hernandez vs. Steve Cunningham II on February 4th
By Eric Thomas: It’s been four months since former Cuban amateur star Yoan Pablo Hernandez (25-1, 13 KO’s) defeated IBF cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham (24-3, 12 KO’s) by a 6th round technical decision to capture his International Boxing Federation title, and now the two fighters are set to do it again next month on February 4th at the Fraport Arena in Frankfurt, Germany.
Hernandez was cut between the eyes from a headbutt and the fight was quickly halted after that. The cut didn’t appear to be bad enough for the fight to be halted, however, and it stopped bleeding almost immediately after the fight was stopped. At the time of the stoppage, Cunningham was coming on and appeared to be taking over the fight against the timid and tired looking Hernandez.
The referee blew what appeared to a 1st round knockout win for Hernandez after he put Cunningham down in the 1st round with a left hook. The referee seemed to delay his starting of the count and still didn’t halt the fight after Cunningham got up and fell back down again.
Most referees would have halted the fight right there but this one didn’t for some reason. Cunningham was fortunate that Hernandez didn’t try to jump on him in the 2nd round to finish him off. But Hernandez seemed afraid to get hit and let Cunningham off the hook when he had him out on his feet and ready to go.
Hernandez is going to have to fight better this time around if he wants to get the win again, because he can’t count on the fight going to the cards early again like it did last time. He’s got to be able to fight harder than for just one or two rounds. That’s the knock on Hernandez. He looks great in the first three rounds but then fades badly and struggles even against B level fighters when he’s tired.