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 Photos: George Groves, Callum Smith - Go Face To Face Sor Rungvisai vs. Estrada - LIVE Superfly 2 Results Anthony Yarde Batters, Stops Tony Averlant in Seven Callum Smith Outboxes Nieky Holzken, George Groves is Next Daniel Dubois Blasts Out DL Jones in Three Rounds Callum Smith vs. Nieky Holzken - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Ronnie Clark Shocks Zelfa Barrett in IBF Regional Bout Conte Responds To Wilder's "Always a Cheat" Jab at Luis Ortiz News: Miguel Cotto Update, Lewis Ritson, New England Results Brian Viloria Very Pumped as He Goes For Fifth World Title Bilal Akkawy Beats De Carolis, Moloney Brothers Win, More Callum Smith vs. Nieky Holzken - LIVE Results From Nuremberg Roamer Angulo Collides With Evert Bravo in Yucatan, Mexico Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada: Stats & Stakes Photos: Sullivan Barrera in Top Form, Grinds Hard For Bivol Shot Josh Taylor To Face Winston Campos, Humberto Soto is Out Callum Smith: I Want To Make Statement To George Groves, Fans Jarrell Miller: Could Be An 'Early Night' for Wilder or Ortiz Golovkin's Promoter Details How Canelo Rematch Was Finalized Adonis Stevenson: Andre Ward is Playing Games, He's Not Retired Hatton: Mayweather-McGregor in MMA Makes Me F***ing Furious Carlos Castro, Alexis Santiago To Battle in Phoenix, Arizona Zolani Tete: Belfast Fans Know I'm The Man To Beat Ryan Burnett Frank Warren Talks Anthony Yarde, Daniel Dubois York Hall Card Coldwell To Eubank Jr. - Beg Adam Booth To Take You Back! Porter: I Think Right Now Thurman is Better Than Errol Spence Bivol Aims To Use Some of Andre Ward's Tactics on Barrera How To Fix The 147-Pound Logjam Of Talent With a Tournament Gonzalez, Cintron, Vargas Wins Bouts in Kissimmee, Florida Hearn Open To Do Joshua-Wilder Twice - One in U.S., One in UK Robert Garcia: Mikey is Special Fighter Like Mayweather, Pacquiao Rances Barthelemy: I Want Mikey Garcia in My Next Fight Estrada: I'm Looking To Knock Sor Rungvisai Out, Leave No Doubt Lemieux vs. O'Sullivan on The Canelo-Golovkin Card? Sadam Ali vs. Liam Smith Deal Getting Close, Says Frank Warren Loeffler's 360 Promotions Club Series To Begin on March 27 Photos: Cuadras-Arroyo, Nietes-Reveco, Viloria-Dalakian Weights Photos: Sor Rungvisai, Estrada - Ready For Superfly War Juanma Lopez, Jayson Velez on Point at Final Pre-Fight Weigh-In Horn Suffers Camp Setback For Crawford After Robinson KO
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement