The first voluntary title defense for Yoan Pablo Hernandez is set to be held on March 8. However, the task ahead for the IBF Cruiserweight World Champion is anything but easy. At the famous Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany, Hernandez will collide with Pawel Kolodziej.
“Since becoming a world champion, Pablo exclusively had to fight the top-rated contenders of the IBF,” said Hernandez coach Ulli Wegner, adding: “With Kolodziej you can add number four to that list!”
The challenger from Krynica Zdroj, Poland, is unbeaten in 33 fights with 18 wins by KO to his name and is currently ranked at number two by the IBF, with the first spot being vacant. Wegner believes this is a first: “I cannot remember a champion who was set to defend his world title back to back against the best placed contenders.” Hernandez had three mandatories in succession since winning the IBF-Belt against Steve Cunningham in October of 2011.
Hernandez himself could not care less about those facts.
“Number one or Number 15 – this is still for the championship of the world,” knows the “Iron-Man”, who picked up his moniker recently with a titanium-plate implanted in his left hand, which broke twice in the past. “There are no easy opponents when you are at the top of your division. I always have to prove that I am the best in the world and that is what I will do again come March 8!”
Anyhow, the match-up between Hernandez and Kolodziej will be on an equal footing – at 6 feet 4 – both champion and challenger share the same height.
Tickets for the big fight night at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany can be purchased at www.eventim.de.