IBF Cruiserweight Champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez (25-1, 13 KOs) will face two-time world champion Steve “USS” Cunningham (24-3, 12 KOs) in a hotly-anticipated rematch in Frankfurt on Saturday night. Boxing-online.com has caught up with the 27-year-old Cuban.
Q: Yoan Pablo, you will be facing Steve Cunningham for the second time on Saturday. Are you upset about giving him a rematch?
YPH: “No, not at all, much on the contrary. I am happy to fight him again. I will show everybody that I am the better fighter. If there are any doubts, I will erase them.”
Q: The first fight came to a controversial ending. Cunningham believes you could have fought on despite the cuts. What´s your take on that?
YPH: “Well, it wasn´t me who stopped the fight, but the referee after consulting the ring doctor. One of the cuts was very deep, the risk of getting a serious injury would have been too big in my opinion. And the blood was affecting my vision. Who knows what could have happened.”
Q: Are you upset about the fact that everybody discussed the ending of the fight? After all, you knocked him down in the first round…
YPH: “Of course I was upset. I performed well on that night and I deserved to win. Everybody should respect that. Cunningham should have respected that, too.”
Q: How will the second fight go?
YPH: “I hope it will not be as bloody as the first fight. I hope for a fair fight – I will be fighting fair. It´s my goal to win the rematch and put an end to the discussions about the first fight.”
Q: Has your life changed after winning the world title?
YPH: “Not really. I am the same person I was before. But when walking around in Berlin, I get recognized by more fans.”
Q: If you win on February 4, what will be next for you?
YPH: “I will take some time off. Every athlete needs breaks. I have trained very hard in the past months and I just want to spend some time with my family. Then I will quickly return to training for my next fight. But I am not thinking that far ahead. All that matters now is the rematch against Cunningham on Saturday.”