By Jake Donovan
Yoan Pablo Hernandez makes the third defense of the lineal cruiserweight championship, and fourth overall alphabet title defense in his first fight back since recovering from injuries, ailments and the frustration that came with a career hampered by both.
Former titlist Firat is on a mission to become, at age 43, the oldest fighter in history to capture the cruiserweight crown.
Who will have their way Saturday evening at Messehalle in Erfurt, Germany?
Read on to see how the staff at BoxingScene.com believes tonight's cruiserweight championship action goes down.
BOXINGSCENE.COM STAFF PREDICTIONS: YOAN PABLO HERNANDEZ vs. FIRAT ARSLAN
Jake Donovan (Hernandez UD): "Hernandez should be at full strength and more confident heading into his first fight in nine months. Arslan, at age 43, has no reason to play it safe, and thus figures to go all out in this title challenge. On paper, it adds up to the potential for a spectacular performance by Hernandez, but I'm not entirely convinced this one doesn't go to the scorecards."
Cliff Rold (Hernandez KO): "Arslan had his last hurrah in the first Huck fight. At 43, what is the point? Hernandez-Huck would be fine at Cruiserweight. This? Not so much."
Reynaldo Sanchez (Hernandez UD): "Yoan Pablo faced a strong opponent in Arslan. Will be an even fight, if Hernandez can impose its advantages in reach ecould be a easy job. Tow lefties with different styles. Arslan seek the in fight and Hernandez fighting from the outside."
Alexey Sukachev (Hernandez TKO6): "Arslan's time is well over, and his first fight with Huck was his swan song. This time this brave veteran has only puncher's chance and only in the the first couple of rounds. Hernandez will survive an early onslaught and will quickly pick Arslan apart with his jabs and right hands."
Anson Wainwright (Hernandez TKO10): "In what is probably Arslan's final world title attempt I expect him to come at Hernandez and bring pressure early on, however as the rounds pass Hernandez will get more of a foothold in the bout. When Arslan looks to get at Hernandez late on I see him getting countered and dropped and then stopped."
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox