Lem Satterfield

Yoan Hernandez’s illness postpones defense vs. Pawel Kolodziej

A viral infection has forced RING and IBF cruiserweight champ Yoan Pablo Hernandez to postpone his scheduled March 8 title defense against Pawel “Hamas” Kolodziej to March 29, promoter Sauerland Events announced on Thursday.

"I am really sorry, but it makes no sense to step into the ring when you are not fit to fight," said Hernandez, 29, who scored knockdowns in the second, fifth and final rounds of a 10th-round stoppage of Alexander Alekseev in his last fight in November.

"Most of all, I am hoping that the fans are not that disappointed and come to support me on March 29 to see a top-notch performance when I am defending my IBF belt."

Hernandez (28-1, 14 knockouts) is pursing the fourth defense of his belt against Kolidziej (33-0, 18 KOs), a bout that will also be moved from Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, to the Velodrom in Berlin.

Hernandez came up with his 14th straight victory and his sixth knockout win during that time against Alekseev.

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 winning the world title, I have only defended against the best rated opponents," said Hernandez. "I think that is what makes a champion."

Kolodziej, 33, 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.

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