Over the course of the past few years there has been one fighter that has always given the boxing fans value for money and that man is Marco Huck 35-2-1 (25KO).
Huck always comes to fight and is very rarely in a dull fight and what is also great to see is the fact that Huck is also an active fighter. However have some of the wars over the past few years finally caught up with the German based Serbian Cruiserweight?
Back in 2007 Huck was involved in fantastic tear up with then IBF champion Steve Cunningham which saw both fighters trading very heavy shots and saw Huck bleeding from his left ear by the mid-way point in the fight. Huck expended a lot of energy early in the fight in an attempt to boss Cunningham but the champion kept a cool head and began boxing well which left Huck needing to go for the knock out to win the fight.
Sensing that he needed the knock out and showing visible signs of tiredness Huck poured every last ounce of energy out of his body in the 11th round however in the 12th Huck was badly hurt as Cunningham brutally took him apart prompting Huck’s corner to stop the fight.
Fast-forward almost 2 years later and Huck finally landed his first world title with a 12 rounds point win against Victor Emilio Ramierz to claim the WBO title. Less than 3 months later Huck would defend his title against Ola Afolbai in a tough 12 round battle that left many fans wanting to see a rematch.
Huck fought and defended his title 4 times in 2010 three of which came by stoppage as Huck showed why he had become such a big crowd pleaser. Huck tended to start rounds by feeling out his opponents, let them come to him and let them throw a few punches whilst Huck would keep the high guard.
As the round ticked by it seemed that Huck would have a built in clock as with a minute or so left in the round Huck would explode into action as he came out of his defensive shell and began throwing punches like an out of control windmill. It was always exciting to watch and you could just about set your own clock knowing that Huck was about to starting throwing at any second.
Then in his last fight of 2010 Huck faced the Russian number 1 contender Denis Lebedev. Huck looked slow and ponderous as he barely squeezed out a split decision victory (I had Lebedev winning the fight by 4 points) and was back in the ring 4 months later.
Another action packed fight ensued as Huck punished Ran Nakash over 12 rounds and then brutalised Hugo Garay 3 months later by stopping the challenger in 10 rounds.
The sinister streak in Huck was evident in his next title defence against Rogelio Rossi. Huck was on the end of some low blows earlier in the fight which definitely riled the champion and he responded by dropping Rossi in the 3rd round and was down twice in the 5th round. Huck was deducted 2 points for punching after the bell after the 4th and 5th rounds. Huck finally closed the show in the 6th round by knocking out Rossi.
Not long after the fight Huck stated that he planned to move up to the land of the giants and campaign at Heavyweight with an eye on a money spinning fight with either Klitschko brother.
As it transpired Huck signed up to fight Alexander Povetkin for the WBA “Regular” title in his heavyweight debut in February 2012. Prior to the fight Huck also received death threats however he shrugged these off and unhindered by having to make the 200lbs Cruiserweight limit Huck weighed in the day before the fight at career high of 209 ½ lbs.
Povetkin carried a 26lbs weight advantage over Huck who was the betting underdog. However this did not deter Huck and even though the opening round was tentative and Povetkin may have shaded the 2nd and 3rd rounds Huck staggered Povetkin in the 4th round and backed him up went in for the kill as he threw a huge barrage of punches.
Huck was warned for pushing down on Povetkin’s head but on most occasions it was the Russian who would deliberate drop low in order to avoid Huck’s punches. By the mid way point Povetkin, who perhaps underestimated Huck, was tiring and was staggered again in the 7th round however Huck would receive further warnings for pushing Povetkin’s head down. By the 10th Huck was sporting a swollen eye and in the 11th he was cut over the same eye as both fighters continued to slug it out until the end of the fight.
A majority of observers felt that Huck had done enough to deserve the nod but it was Povetkin who emerged victorious with the majority decision and both knew that they had been in a fight.
Not one to sit on the shelf for too long Huck was back in action again 10 weeks later this time in a rematch against Ola Afolabi however Huck would now be coming back down to Cruiserweight to defend his WBO title.
What transpired that evening once again cemented Huck’s reputation as an exciting fighter as he and Afolabi went to war over 12 brutal rounds landing heavy punches. The 12th round could very well, in some people’s eyes, be the round of the year in 2012 and the very fact that it was Huck who closed the show in epic fashion most probably saved Huck’s title.
Afolabi looked as if he was about to fold in the 12th round as Huck went all in for the kill swinging everything he had behind his punches but the heart and will of Afolabi kept him on his feet.
As the cards were read out two judges scored the fight a draw whilst the third judge scored the fight to Huck resulting in a majority draw. It was a fantastic fight from start to finish but Huck, for some reason, didn’t seem to be himself as Afolabi had a lot of success against him.
Saturday November third we again saw Huck in another tough fight, his third this year, and it would appear, to some observers, that Firat Arslan may have deserved the nod.
Huck was bloodied as early as the second round however the in-built clock that seemed to trip Huck into action wasn’t evident. Earlier in his career Huck would kick off during the middle of a round launching all types of punches but at times during the Afolabi fight and again on Saturday evening we didn’t see the Huck of old.
There were times against Arslan that I expected Huck to roar into life only to be left disappointed.
Which brings a few questions; Is Huck, at the age of 27, burned out? Since winning the title in 2009 Huck has now made 10 defences of his WBO title. Throughout his career, he has, on average, fought a minimum of four times a year that is almost unheard of in today’s boxing world.
Or has Huck’s wee excursion up to Heavyweight earlier in 2012 and then the subsequent move down in weight taken something out of him? Some people will argue that this is not the case seeing as he only gained 9 ½ lbs for the Povetkin fight.
To add a bit of weight to their argument people could argue that David Haye weighed 217lbs for his Heavyweight fight against Tomasz Bonin in April 2007 and then made 199 ¾ lbs for his world title fight against Jean Marc Mormeck 7 months later for the WBA & WBC Cruiserweight titles.
However the difference is the time frame between fights for Haye and Huck and lets not forget that Haye was on borrowed time at Cruiserweight at that point and was stripping fat from his body to make weight and probably had to sacrifice muscle in the process.
Was the 9 ½ lbs that Huck put on muscle which then had to be taken off to meet the 200lbs Cruiserweight limit? Huck will probably walk around outside training camp around 210 or 215 lbs so maybe those extra pounds aren’t an issue but how comfortable does he make the weight?
Judging by previous Cruiserweight fights against Lebedev (199lbs), Nakash (198 ½ lbs), Garay (197 ¼ lbs), Rossi (198 ½ lbs), Afolabi (198 ½ lbs) and Arslan (198 ¾ lbs) it appears from the outside looking in that he manages the weight fine but then again we don’t know exactly what is going on behind closed doors.
There is also another question and one that could possibly explain why in the last two performances Huck doesn’t seem to be his old self. He has been involved in some great scraps so has he taken too much punishment that may have robbed him of a few more years at the top whilst he supposedly enters his prime years?
It is possible he has and the Arslan fight showed that he took unnecessary punishment again whilst also negating to use his jab and his “windmill” attacks of old just didn’t seem to be there in any great fashion.
Whatever the problem is we can only hope that a fighter who brings us nothing but action would benefit from a prolonged period of rest and a return to form sometime in the middle of next year against the likes of Yoan Pablo Hernandez.
If not it could be back to mandatory WBO titles defences!