Apart from the opening round, which Hernandez dominated, Ross appeared livelier throughout and clearly thought he had done enough to win.
“I pretty much pumped the floor with him today,” Ross said. “I know I won the fight because I put all my hard work into it. I'm too strong, too fast. I'm just a better boxer today ... it's a bad decision.”
The judges awarded it 114-113, 115-112, 116-112. The decision was whistled by the crowd.
“Respect for Troy Ross. He's a good boxer and a great fighter. I knew that he had a strong punch,” Hernandez said as the crowd kept whistling.
Hernandez was in serious trouble during an explosive third round and received an eight count in the fifth before referee David Fields allowed the Cuban southpaw to continue.
Ross, also a southpaw, was dominating the close exchanges and Hernandez was unable to trouble the smaller man from distance.
Ross himself was wobbling in the ninth, when Hernandez caught the 37-year-old with a heavy left blow but appeared too exhausted to finish him off after a flurry of punches.
The 27-year-old Hernandez, based in Germany since 2005, improved his record to 27-1 (13 KOs), while Ross dropped to 25-3 (16 KOs).
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