- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Cruiserweight titlist Yoan Pablo Hernandez is about to resume full training this week after being sidelined because of a broken left hand -- never a good thing for a southpaw -- for several months.
Hernandez (27-1, 13 KOs), a Cuban defector based in Germany, has been out of the ring since outpointing Troy Ross in a tough battle in a September title defense. Hernandez was supposed to defend against American Eric Fields in February, but he broke his left hand (for the second time) in a sparring session during his training camp and pulled out of the fight. According to promoter Chris Meyer of Sauerland Event, Hernandez, who had surgery on the hand and had a plate put in, can begin punching with the hand again beginning Thursday.
When Hernandez does return in the fall -- date to be determined -- his probable opponent will be mandatory challenger Alexander Alekseev (24-2-1, 20 KOs), a 32-year-old southpaw from Uzbekistan living in Germany. Meyer said the camps have been ordered to begin negotiating the fight.
Alekseev is 5-0-1 in his past six fights since a second-round knockout loss to former cruiserweight titlist Denis Lebedev in 2010. Alekseev is coming off a decision win against American Garrett Wilson in Romania in a February title eliminator.