Cuban IBF World Cruiserweight Champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez will be taking on Troy Ross of Canada in Bamberg, Germany on Sept. 15 in an attempt to defend his title for the second time. Hernandez will enter the ring with a record of 26-1 with 13 KOs while Ross carries a 25-2 record with him along with 16 KOs.
Hernandez won the crown last October when he beat Steve Cunningham of America by a sixth-round technical decision. He then defended the belt against Cunningham in a rematch in February and beat him by a unanimous decision. The 27-year-old champion fights out of Germany and will have the hometown support behind him. He’s a 6-foot-4 southpaw who turned pro back in 2005. Along with Cunningham, the most recognizable names on his resume are Wayne Braithwaite, Steve Herelius, and Zack Page. Braithwaite handed him his only pro loss when he stopped him in the third round back in 2008 in Germany.
The 37-year-old Ross is also a southpaw, but gives up quite a height advantage to Hernandez since he’s just under 6-feet tall. He turned pro in 2001 and has fought the likes of Etianne Whitaker, Felix Cora Jr., and Cunningham. His last bout was in February when he beat Lukasz Rusiewicz by an eight-round unanimous decision in Germany. Ross has also faced Cunningham and was stopped in the fifth round in a controversial fight for the vacant IBF title in May of 2010. His other loss was an eight-round split decision to Willie Herring in 2005.
Ross is the IBF’s mandatory challenger for this bout and realizes it could be his last shot at a world title. He said he’s in great shape and has matured a lot since losing to Cunningham and will prove it on the 15th against Hernandez. He feels that Hernandez has good power and speed and he’ll need to box clever if he’s going to dethrone him. Ross said he’s not really worried about the height difference between the two since most of his previous opponents have also been considerably taller than him and he’s used to it.
Hernandez said he can’t wait for the fight since he wants to face the best opponents out there to prove that he’s a worthy champion. He sustained a hand injury in his last bout against Cunningham and needed surgery, but said he’s healed and ready to go. The champion said that Ross has a lot of experience, moves well inside the ring, has good power, and likes to press the action by coming forward.
He added that he had to get used to fighting southpaws during his training camp and he’s done a lot of preparing for the bout with trainer Ulli Wegner. He added that if he follows his trainer’s strategy he’s confident of a victory. But even though he’s confident, Hernandez said he won’t talk about any future fights until the Ross bout is over.
This has the potential to be a pretty exciting fight if Ross initiates the action and goes for an upset. But in the end, it’s likely that Hernandez will still be the IBF belt holder by decision or late stoppage.
The latest odds on Sports Bet Listings recommended boxing bookie, 5Dimes.eu, have a Ross win listed at +175 with a Hernandez victory at -245. Visit 5Dimes.eu to bet now. And check out our other boxing betting predictions for the upcoming weekend.
Written by: Ian Palmer