- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Cruiserweight is a dormant division in the United States, but it’s hot in Europe, where most of the top 200-pounders fight. The best fight that could be made in the division would match titleholders Marco Huck and Yoan Pablo Hernandez in a unification bout.
It would probably be a helluva fight, one matching 29-year-olds with different styles. Huck (36-2-1, 25 KOs) is an aggressive brawler who has made 11 defenses and Hernandez (28-1, 14 KOs), a former Cuban amateur star, is more of a boxer, although he has also been in some excellent fights, including his 10th-round knockout of mandatory challenger Alexander Alekseev in his third title defense on Saturday in Bamberg, Germany.
But don’t count on seeing a Huck-Hernandez showdown, even though both fighters are based in Germany, both are featured on the same German television network (ARD) and both fight for promoter Sauerland Event.
They also have the same trainer, German legend Ulli Wegner, and that is the problem.
Wegner addressed the notion of a showdown between his two titleholders at the news conference after Hernandez stopped Alekseev.
“This fight is only going to happen if we have nothing to eat anymore,” Wegner said.
In other words, until they have no other way of making a buck, he is not going to allow the fight to happen.
Promoter Kalle Sauerland shares Wegner’s view, saying that he would rather pursue unification fights with the other titleholders -- Denis Lebedev and Krzysztof Wlodarczyk -- before matching Wegner’s two fighters.
It’s easy for Sauerland to say that, but since he promotes Huck and Hernandez, it would be a lot easier to make that fight than one with either of those other guys. Besides, Lebedev and Wlodarczyk both have mandatory obligations in front of them, not to mention that Huck already owns a 2010 win against Lebedev.
The bottom line is that Huck-Hernandez is the best fight in the weight class. Wegner and Sauerland should not stand in the way of the lucrative, fan-friendly showdown from happening. Sauerland needs to make the best fight in the division and get out there and promote it. Wegner needs to either pick a side or sit out one fight and let his guys go at it. Their bank accounts and legacies would thank him, as would fight fans.