Hernandez keeps IBF cruiser boxing crown
Yoan Pablo Hernandez of Cuba successfully defended his IBF cruiserweight boxing title with a unanimous points decision win over Steve Cunningham in their rematch today.
The southpaw twice had Cunningham on the canvas in the fourth round after catching the American with lefts. Cunningham remained unsteady after beating the count and Hernandez sent him down briefly again but somehow Cunningham managed to see out the round.
Hernandez tried to finish him off in the fifth but was almost caught out when Cunningham sent him reeling back.
Cunningham improved in the later rounds but was unable to make up for the knockdowns. The judges awarded it 116-110, 116-110 and 115-111.
"He really is a courageous boxer - you could see that. How he came back!" Hernandez said. "I gave myself a bit of breathing space in the fourth round. I caught him again nicely in the 12th."
Hernandez was making his first defence of the title he won from Cunningham on a controversial split technical decision in October.
That bout was stopped after six rounds after Hernandez sustained two cuts from a clash of heads, and awarded to the Cuban on points.
Hernandez, based in Germany since 2005, improved his record to 26-1 (13 KOs), while Cunningham dropped to 24-4 (12 KOs).
Cunningham, who was aiming to win back the title for the third time, paid tribute to Hernandez for a deserved win and said he had no plans to retire.
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