Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Hernandez Embraces Fresh Start With Arslan Title Defense

By Jake Donovan

Yoan Pablo Hernandez is the recognized lineal cruiserweight champion, but it doesn't necessarily make him the slam dunk consensus pick as the division's very best fighter. The Cuba-born southpaw, now based out Germany where he has spent his entire pro career, has been plagued by injuries, disputed in-ring results and personal problems as he nears his three-year anniversary as champion. 

Still, a struggling title reign certainly beats having a view from the outside looking in. Hernandez (28-1, 14KOs) returns to the ring for the first time in 2014, hoping for a fresh start beginning with his fourth title defense, which comes this weekend versus former champ Firat Arslan in Erfurt, Germany. 

"I have trained careful with my focus being completely on the task ahead this Saturday night," Hernandez insisted during Wednesday's pre-fight press conference. "I did not have this kind of focus for my last (few) fights, as I had to battle many problems outside of the ring." 

Hernandez hasn't fought since knocking out Alexander Alekseev in ten rounds last November. That title defense came 14 months after his previous ring appearance, a disputed points win over Troy Ross. 

A damaged left hand and post-surgery recovery kept the 29-year old out of the ring following the win over Ross, feeling confident following last year's knockout win - his first stoppage since Feb. '11 - and ready to take on all comers. 

However, a planned return in March was thwarted when Hernandez was forced to contend with a lingering case of gastritis. A planned title defense versus Pawel Kolodziej  was twice postponed and eventually scrapped altogether as a result, as Hernandez sat on the sidelines in search of an open fight date. 

While fully confident inside the ring, the frustration of contending with injuries and ailments was nearly enough for Hernandez to give up on the sport. Instead, he turned to his team, finding motivation from their undying support.

"I almost give up but my wife and my coach motivated me not to let myself go," Hernandez admits. "Now, I am stronger than ever. August 16 will be my proving point."

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

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Liam Smith Hopes To Land Miguel Cotto Showdown Thomas Stalker To Return In Leicester, April 22 Gervonta Davis vs. Liam Walsh: Anthony Yarde Added To Card Tony Bellew Admits He May Possibly Fight "Three" More Times Carson Jones: Kell Brook Will Beat Errol Spence! Marcos Reyes Plans Shocker: David Lemieux is NOT Invincible 30 years later, Tim Ryan on Leonard-Hagler and the Golden Age Mikey Garcia: If Gamboa Can Get a Title, I Would Fight Him Miguel Cotto Ring Return Being Positioned For June 24 Jermell Charlo: Hatley Hasn't Fought Near My Level of Competition Kudryashov-Durodola Rematch - WBC Final Eliminator, May 20 Juan Manuel Marquez Files Lawsuit Over Fraud, 2.3 Million Stolen Luis Ortiz: After My April Fight - I Want Wilder, Joshua or Parker! Srisaket Sor Rungvisai Receives Hero's Welcome at Home Arum Tired of Waiting, Gives Pacquiao Deadline To Decide on Horn Sullivan Barrera: Parker Fight is Another Step To a World Title Luis Ortiz vs. Derric Rossy Possible For Berto-Porter Card Froch: We May See The 'Best and Last' of Klitschko With Joshua Photos: Alberto Machado, Juan Jose Martinez - Go Face To Face Mayweather Gets Partial Win Over Ms. Jackson in Court Ruling Fonfara: Training With Virgil Hunter Will Make Me a Better Fighter Francisco Vargas Might Not Return to Ring Until Sometime in 2018 Samuel Clarkson: I'm Ready To Go To War With Dmitry Bivol! Josh Kelly will face Jay Byrne in Pro Debut on Burns-Indongo Luis Ortiz Inks Pact With Al Haymon Frank Warren Hits Golovkin With Deadline To Ink Saunders Deal Canelo vs. Chavez - Movie Theater Information Photos: Marco Huck, Mairis Briedis - Face To Face at Final Presser Joe Cordina To Make Pro Debut on Murray-Rosado Card, April 22 Roach Hopes Cotto Still Gets in Two Fights Before Retirement Mikey Garcia: If I Go Up To 140, I'd Be Interested in Crawford Fight Roach: 'I Would Love' to Have Pacquiao Fight Keith Thurman Roach: I've Changed My Mind, Golovkin CAN'T Beat Andre Ward! Anthony Joshua Reflects on His Roots, Connection To Nigeria Juanma Continues To Motivate as Clash With Entrenadorcito Nears Liam Smith Vows To Use Williams To Make Statement To Critics Video: Freddie Roach on Pacquiao, Cotto, Golovkin, More Amir Khan Not Ruling Out Conor McGregor Fight in UFC or Boxing Kennedy Katende Ready To Do Damage in Sundsvall, Sweden Abel Sanchez: Ward Will Beat Kovalev, It Won't Be Controversial
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement