Yoan Pablo Hernandez remains the IBF crusierweight champion following a hard-fought battle with the aging Firat Arslan at the Messehalle in Erfurt, Germany on Saturday night.
The 29 year-old Cuban engaged in a chest-to-chest phonebox war with the former world title holder from Germany and in the end came out on top, rightfully in my mind to keep his red belt.
I scored it 116-113 after twelve punishing rounds, with two of the scorecards reading the same or similar to mine, 116-113 and 115-113 to record a successful fourth defence for the slicker Hernandez. The final judge had it 115-113 the other way, but ultimately Arslan misses out again having lost to Marco Huck twice in the past two years when challenging for the WBO version.
Arslan, 43, is fast running out of time to become a two-time world champion and turns 44 next month nursing some badly swollen ears courtesy of some swirling shots from Hernandez, who moves on to 29-1.
In the co-feature, Jack Culcay came through a tough test against Isaac Real to add the European light-middleweight title to his fringe WBA version. Culcay, 28, recorded a fourth straight win since suffering his only loss to Guido Pitto, which he went on to avenge, with the judges carding 117-110, 115-113 and 115-112 all in his favour.
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