RING and IBF cruiserweight titleholder Yoan Pablo Hernandez will make the fourth defense of his titles against unbeaten Polish contender Pawel “Hamas” Kolodziej on March 8 at Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany, promoter Sauerland Events announced on Wednesday.
"There are no easy opponents when you are at the top of your division," said Hernandez. "I always have to prove that I am the best in the world, and that is what I will do again come March 8."
In his last fight in November, Hernandez (28-1, 14 knockouts) scored knockdowns in the second, fifth and final rounds of a 10th-round stoppage of challenger Alexander Alekseev.
Hernandez came up with his 14th straight victory and his sixth knockout win during that time against Alekseev, who had gone 5-0-1 with three knockouts since being knocked out in the second round by Denis Lebedev in 2010.
Hernandez gained his belt by disputed sixth-round technical decision over Steve Cunningham in October of 2011, won their return bout in his next fight by unanimous decision in February of 2012, and unanimously decisioned Troy Ross in his next bout in September of 2012.
"Since becoming a world champion, Pablo exclusively had to fight the top-rated contenders of the IBF. With Kolodziej, you can add number four to that list," said Hernandez's coach Ulli Wegner. "I cannot remember a champion who was set to defend his world title back-to-back against the best placed contenders."
A 33-year-old with a mark of 33-0, that includes 18 knockouts, Kolodziej is among the most popular fighters in his native Poland and was last in the ring for November's seventh-round stoppage of Prince Anthony Ikeji.