Wednesday, June 07, 2023  |


Yoan Pablo Hernandez injured; Ola Afolabi fight postponed

Fighters Network
Yoan Hernandez Photocall
An injury to RING/IBF cruiserweight champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez has forced the postponement of his Dec. 6 defense against former title challenger Ola Afolabi, according to IBF Championships Chairman Lindsey Tucker.
Promoted by Sauerland Event, Hernandez-Afolabi was slated for the EWE Arena in Oldenburg, Germany. According to a report by, the event will proceed with RING’s No. 4-rated light heavyweight Juergen Braehmer fighting Pawel Glazewski.

“We got a letter yesterday stating that Hernandez was injured and that he’s going to have to have an operation and that the fight will have to be postponed,” said Tucker.

“In fact, they said that before they could set a new date that they wanted to wait until after [Hernandez] has an operation, which they said would be on Dec. 2, I believe. They want to wait to see the results and then they can determine how long he is going to be out.”

Sauerland Event, which promotes Hernandez, could not be reached for an immediate comment. Tucker said he is unaware of the specifics of the injury given that he received a doctor’s note that was written in German.

“They’re supposed to send me a translated version,” said Tucker, “so I expect to get that by either tomorrow or next Monday.”

According to a report by The Associated Press, however, Hernandez’s management cited loose cartilage in his right elbow. Hernandez felt pain in sparring last week and a scan revealed the injury, according to The AP.

“From our side, we heard that he would require surgery to remove some bone chips from his elbow, and so, naturally, Afolabi is disappointed. Ola had been training with Oleksandr Usyk, the Olympic gold medalist from the London Olympics, who is also a southpaw, like Hernandez ,” said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, which has Afolabi.

“So Ola was definitely having a great training camp. We’re talking with Sauerland Event to keep Ola on the show against a different opponent, but if that doesn’t work, then we’ll look to get Ola a different fight just to keep him active until Hernandez is okay to get back into the ring.”

Hernandez (29-1, 14 KOs), 30, is coming off a split decision in August over Firat Arslan. The win over Arslan was the 15th straight in a run that has included six knockouts. Hernandez’s only loss was in March 2008 when he was stopped in the third round by Wayne Braithwaite.

Hernandez’s winning streak includes consecutive decisions over former RING 200-pound champion Steve Cunningham by sixth-round technical decision in October 2011 and by unanimous decision in February 2012.

If rescheduled, the title shot against Hernandez will be the fourth for Afolabi (21-3-4, 10 knockouts), who has lost twice and battled to a draw against WBO beltholder Marco Huck. Huck, THE RING’s No. 1-rated cruiserweight, has made a division record-tying 13 title defenses.

Afolabi was last in action in July for a third-round stoppage of Anthony Caputo Smith, representing the former’s second consecutive win since dropping a majority decision to Huck in June 2013.

Braehmer will pursue his 14th straight win against Glazewski and is coming off a unanimous decision over Roberto Feliciano Bolonti in June that ended Bolonti’s streak of five consecutive victories.

Glazewski, 32, won for the third straight time with a unanimous decision over Rowland Bryant in August, last suffering defeat by seventh-round stoppage against Hadillah Mohoumadi in June 2013.

According to an earlier report by, 6-foot-8 heavyweight David Price will return to the ring against Emilio Zarate on the card.

Price, 31, has won three straight fights since suffering consecutive stoppage losses to American Tony Thompson in 2013. Following his most recent bout, a unanimous decision over Yaroslav Zavorotnyi, Price required surgery to repair an injury to his right hand.

Zarate, 33, was knocked out in the seventh round by Arnold Gjergjaj in his last fight in March.