IBF Cruiserweight Champion Steve “USS” Cunningham (24-2, 12 KOs) will put his belt on the line against Yoan Pablo Hernandez (24-1, 13 KOs) in Neubrandenburg, Germany on October 1. Boxing-online.com has caught up with the 35-year-old American ahead of his third fight for Team Sauerland.
Q: How has the preparation been going?
USS: “Everything has been going great, I'm feeling good and looking forward to the fight. I'm always in the gym, even without a fight scheduled, and I always have the top cruiserweights on my radar.”
Q: Hernandez is a tough fighter. He is also a southpaw. Have you already fought other southpaws? Have you had a special preparation for this fight?
USS: “Yes, I have fought other southpaws in my career, and I used to spar with Chris Byrd as an amateur and pro. I have no problems with fighting southpaws.”
Q: You have already beaten all four reigning world champions. Looks like Hernandez is one of the biggest names out there that you have yet to beat?
USS: “I believe him to be the best challenger for me right now. I think he is a good fighter and will bring a good fight. I want to put on a great fight for the German fans and would love for it to be the fight of the year.”
Q: You defeated mandatory challenger Enad Licina in your last fight in April. But you said you were not entirely happy with your performance?
USS: “Our initial fight date was changed and we travelled back to America for a short period to resume camp. When I returned to Germany the week before the fight, I had caught the flu. I spent the first three days in bed and was not feeling well at all. I was determined and even though I knew I wasn't 100%, I felt confident that my best at that time would be enough. And thank God it was. I felt drained during the fight, I really could not push the way I wanted to and trained to. But prayer, faith and hard work brought me through.”
Q: Your clash with Hernandez will also be a clash of two top trainers - Naazim Richardson and Ulli Wegner…
USS: “They are both great trainers. I know 100% that brother Naazim Richardson is the best trainer for me. He works equally as hard as I do in preparing for a fight and I trust him in the ring to tell me what needs to be done. Wegner is a great trainer too, his work speaks for itself. Two great trainers, two great fighters, it's going to be a