Ulli Wegner believes that Yoan Pablo Hernandez (25-1, 13 KOs) victory over IBF Cruiserweight Champion Steve Cunningham (24-3, 12 KOs) should have been a first round KO rather than a sixth-round technical decision. The hard-hitting Cuban knocked down his American opponent in the first round with a huge left hook.
“The referee saved Cunningham from a flash KO,” Wegner said of the count that lasted at least 14 seconds. “He gave Cunningham too much time to recover. And then his corner extended the recovery time between the first and the second round by staying in the ring after the bell sounded to start the second round. That helped Cunningham to get back into the fight. But nevertheless I am proud of Hernandez. He fought a great fight and he was clearly leading on points when the fight was stopped later.”
After the exciting opening round, Hernandez remained in control. In the third, a clash of heads opened a badly-bleeding cut on the left side of his head. In the fifth, another clash of heads caused a cut above his right eye. The ring doctor inspected the cuts after the sixth round and advised referee Mickey Vann to stop the fight because Hernandez could not see clearly with blood running into both eyes. The fight went to the scorecards where Hernandez was ahead (59-54, 58-55, 56-57).
“I am thrilled to be the new champion,” Hernandez said. “This is like a dream coming true for me. I have waited for this moment for a long, long time. Cunningham was a tough opponent and I am proud that I defeated him.”
Next up for Hernandez, who had both cuts stitched up at the hospital, is the mandatory defence against Troy Ross.
In the co-featured main event, Grzegorz Proksa clinched the vacant European Middleweight Title after stopping former IBF Middleweight Champion Sebastian Sylvester. Proksa landed a big left in the second round that opened a big cut above Sylvester´s right eye. After the third, the cut was bleeding so badly that the Hurricane gave up.
“I could not see his punches coming any more,” he said. “My plan was to attack in the later rounds once he had run out of gas but clearly the cut made it impossible. I am very disappointed but I have to congratulate Proksa on strong performance. He did very well.”
In the third title fight of the night, IBF Light Heavyweight Intercontinental Champion Karo Murat defended his title with a draw against Gabriel Campillo. The scores were 115-113 Murat, 111-117 Campillo and 114-114.