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*Click here for Steve Cunningham vs Yoan Pablo Hernandez II*

The IBF Cruiserweight title is on the line this Saturday when belt-holder Steve Cunningham meets challenger Yoan Pablo Hernandez in Neubrandenburg, Germany. Cunningham, 35, will hope to defend his title for the second time against a Cuban who has just come off his biggest career win – a seventh round knockout of Steve Herelius.

Cunningham has had a slippery grip on the IBF Cruiserweight title so far, losing a title fight to then-champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in 2006, before coming back for revenge and beating the Polish Cruiserweight a year later to become the champion. ‘USS’ kept the belt for just two fights, losing in his second title-defence to the recent Klitschko challenger Tomasz Adamek. Cunningham wasn’t done though, and by June 2010 he got the title back, beating former Contender contestant Troy Ross with a controversial fifth round technical knockout. Cunningham comes into his fight with Hernandez feeling confident. He told WorldBoxingNews:
“Hernandez is a very good opponent, but I have defeated all reigning cruiserweight champions,”

This is a good point and it shows Cunningham has an impressive pedigree. He beat Guillermo Jones in 2005, Marco Huck in 2007 and Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in 2007. So that is the WBA, WBC and WBO champions all wrapped up for the American cruiserweight. This begs one question – why isn’t he pursuing a unification match? Steve Cunningham could be the first undisputed cruiserweight champion since O’Neil Bell.

What Are Yoan Pablo Hernandez’ Chances Against Steve Cunningham?

Cuban southpaw Yoan Pablo Hernandez is the mandatory challenger to Cunningham’s belt and he is a good match for the man from Philadelphia. The both have similar records, with each picking up twenty four wins in their careers, though Hernandez has one more knockout victory than his rival.

Hernandez falls down when his opposition is studied. As mentioned, Cunningham has fought the best in his division, beating each of the current world champions over the course of his eleven year career. Twenty-six year old Hernandez cannot say the same; his best win was his most recent – a seventh round knockout over thirty-five year old southpaw Steve Herelius.

Also telling is the fact that Hernandez’ only loss came against Wayne Braithwaite, a man Steven Cunningham scored a unanimous decision over in 2009. Experience, skill and past record considered, Cunningham is the favourite for this fight and Punchbag Blog predicts a unanimous decision win for the IBF champion. Hernandez, however, disagrees. He told boxingnews24:

“What I know for sure, however, is that October 1 will be my big day. I will be the new champion.”
If you're looking for the upcoming boxing fixtures, click here.