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Friday, December 21, 2012
Yoan Pablo Hernandez vs. Eric Fields

By Dan Rafael
ESPN.com

Cruiserweight titleholder Yoan Pablo Hernandez will make his third defense against Eric Fields on Feb. 2 at Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany, promoter Sauerland Event announced on Friday.

The bout will take place on the same card as the previously announced fight between European light heavyweight champion Eduard Gutknecht (24-1, 9 KOs), who will be making his fourth defense, against fellow German and former world titleholder Juergen Braehmer (38-2, 30 KOs).

"I am very excited," Hernandez said. "Berlin has become my new home. I live and train here. Never before have I stood inside the ring of the Max-Schmeling-Halle as the champion of the world."

The 28-year-old Hernandez (27-1, 13 KOs), a southpaw who is based in Germany after defecting from Cuba, won a world title in the 200-pound weight class in October 2011 with a controversial sixth-round technical decision against American Steve Cunningham. But Hernandez won the rematch in February via unanimous decision and followed with a decision win in a defense against Canada's Troy Ross on Sept. 15.

The 30-year-old Fields (21-1, 15 KOs), from Ardmore, Okla., has won 10 fights in a row against low-level opposition since his lone defeat in 2008, a 10th-round knockout to Ola Afolabi, who since has established himself as a top-10 cruiserweight contender.

"He is a fighter who is always looking to move forward and is always up for a real punch up," Hernandez said. "But I have already started with my preparations and will not get too comfortable during the festive season. I will have to be in tiptop shape and be prepared to give it my all until someone falls. That being said, it won't be me who will fall. The only one going down on Feb. 2 is Eric Fields."