When Steve Cunningham the then IBF
cruiserweight champion signed to meet the WBA interim champion Yoan
Pablo Hernandez there were questions as to why? Both are promoted by
Sauerland of Germany. The title Hernandez holds was not on the
line and he is not rated by the IBF.
The fight itself started out with a
bang when Hernandez dropped Cunningham after the southpaw missed with
a right and followed with a left to the side of Cunningham’s head.
The champion struggled to get up and tipped over onto his side. He
just beat the 10 count. For some reason it took UK referee Mickey
Vann almost 10 seconds before the fighters resumed action.
Cunningham held on and wobbled back to his corner at the bell.
The trainer of Hernandez, Ulli Wagner,
was quite upset after the fight about this. He also seemed to have a
lot to say to the ringside physician and the referee pertaining to
the stoppage at the end of the 6th round.
Cunningham became the aggressor after
Hernandez threw 3 or 4 punches starting the 2nd round.
After the middle of the round the fans started clapping for some
action. It was Cunningham who provided with some good body shots to
take the round.
In the 3rd round Cunningham
was still the aggressor. With about 30 seconds left in the round the
two fighters had a very good exchange of punches. There was an
accidental clash of heads causing Hernandez to come out of it with a
cut. The referee never stopped the action or seemed to give a
In the 4th Cunningham seemed
to control things with his jab and an occasional right hand.
Hernandez landed a nice combo but not enough to win him the round.
In the 5th round Cunningham landed good combinations to
the body of Hernandez. While in a clinch, Hernandez hits Cunningham
behind the head. When the referee finally got between them Hernandez
again hit Cunningham behind the head without a warning from the
In the 6th and final round
Hernandez was noticeably tiring with Cunningham taking the round big
time. The corner of Hernandez took the full minute as required while
calling the ringside physician up for an examination of the cut’s
Hernandez had received. Then the referee was called over by the
physician. By this time the corner had cleared the ring and
Hernandez looked like he was ready to resume action with no blood
showing on his face. All of a sudden the referee returns to the
corner of Hernandez and calls the fight off. He informs both
corners the fight is over and they will go to the judge’s
Cunningham got the vote of UK judge
John Foster 57-56 which seemed fair. Hernandez received the vote of
UK judge Dave Parris 58-55. This is the same judge who was the
referee for the Hatton-Tszyu fight who favored Hatton throughout the
bout. The final judge from Poland, Pawel Kardyiu scored it 59-54 for
Hernandez. What fight he was watching no one knew. This writer had
it 58-55 for as he walked around the ring with his right arm in the
air giving “thumb down” to the decision. Is this another black
eye for boxing? The top contender in the IBF rankings is Canadian
Troy Ross whom the IBF now demands Hernandez fight when his cut’s
are healed. So where does this leave Cunningham? He stated he will
be back and win his title back again. Did the fact Hernandez, from
Cuba, living in Germany for some time play a major part in the
outcome? Even a technical draw would have allowed Cunningham to
retain his title and defend next against Ross with Hernandez facing
the winner. I guess that makes too much sense. Stay tuned.
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