Arthur Abraham, Steve Cunningham And Yoan Pablo Hernandez Win In Germany

Here’s how it went down Saturday in Germany:

  • The idea for Arthur Abraham was to tune-up after two consecutive losses before going into the semifinals of Showtime’s super middleweight tournament, and as such this outcome had to be a let down. Stjepan Bozic injured his hand when he threw a punch that connected on Abraham’s elbow and retired in the 2nd round. Abraham started more aggressively than usual and appeared to be focusing on the body attack, which might hint at the strategy for taking on Andre Ward. But he also got hit a lot more than usual and still doesn’t seem able to mix defense and offense — he’s doing one or the other and that’s it.
  • Cruiserweight Steve Cunningham either had it really easy with Enad Licina (two judges: 118-110) or a hard one (third judge: 115-113), depending on who was judging. I fell more into the “hard” camp than anything. I had the same score. It wasn’t an easy one to judge. the crowd responded heartily to any Licina shot that looked like it might have landed, and while many of them didn’t — Cunningham caught a lot of them on his gloves — there were rounds where Licina was the only one landing anything of consequence. Cunningham was shoe-shining for a good percentage of the fight. It wasn’t a strong showing by him, I didn’t think.
  • In another cruiserweight scrap, Yoan Pablo Hernandez knocked out Steve Herelius in the 7th round after dropping him twice with left hooks. This was my first long look at Hernandez and he has ability, like most Cuban fighters. His win was aided by what was reported to be an Achilles injury to Herelius in the 4th, but Hernandez was in control prior to that — he simply appeared to be the smarter, better fighter, even if his jab landed on air a lot. What was annoying is that like all Ulli Wegner-coached fighters — including Abraham — Hernandez spent a really long time simply staring at his opponent. We’ve seen that versatile, aggressive boxers can exploit that style, but for now, Hernandez is a legit guy in the division.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.