On August 30, WBO titlist ‘’Captain’’ Marco Huck (37-2-1, 26 KOs) will attempt to equal Johnny Nelson’s record for the most title defenses in the cruiserweight division when he faces Mirko Larghetti (21-0, 13 KOs) at the Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle/Westphalia, Germany.
As Huck edges closer to Nelson’s record of thirteen defenses we take a look at how the cruiserweight’s compare.
A gangly southpaw, Nelson’s awkward style made him a nightmare opponent for many of his cruiserweight contemporaries. Despite losing his first three professional contests the boxer from Sheffield went on to establish himself as one of Britain’s all-time cruiserweight greats. Nelson retired in 2005, having won 45 of his 59 bouts including 29 inside the distance, ending a seven-year reign as WBO Champion.
Huck, the Berlin-based bruiser, has built a reputation as the no nonsense, hard-hitting king of the cruiserweight division. What the 29 year-old lacks in style he more than makes up for in substance. Having claimed the WBO strap in 2009, five years later ‘’Captain’’ Huck continues to defend against all comers.
Despite a number of stylistic differences between Nelson and Huck, certain parallels can be found in the cruiserweights careers:
Americans as stumbling blocks: Before Nelson won the WBO title in 1999 against fellow countryman Carl Thompson, he suffered defeat to American James Warring when challenging for the IBF belt. Similarly, Huck failed at his first attempt at World glory, losing an IBF title fight to American Steve Cunningham in 2007.
Social conscious: Both men have spent time behind bars. Thankfully not for crimes committed but rather to share their knowledge and support with inmates. Nelson visited a prison in Doncaster in 2010, while Huck and trainer Ulli Wegner met with prisoners at the JVA Tegel in Berlin in 2013.
Shared opponents: Two men have shared the ring with both Nelson and Huck. In September 2004 Nelson defeated Rüdiger May, in what was his twelfth WBO defense, exactly one year later, a relatively inexperienced Huck first caught the attention of German television audiences with an impressive points victory over the veteran cruiserweight. In 2000 Nelson stopped Pietro Aurino in seven rounds, while in 2006 unusual circumstances led to a second-round technical decision for Huck when the Italian fled the ring.
The current champion Huck had this to say about the man whose record he will attempt to equal on August 30: ‘’Nelson was an exceptional athlete who did not back down from any challenge. I am no different. His style of fighting was not the most spectacular but it was successful. It is an honor to get the chance to equal his record. But in contrast to Nelson, I will not struggle against an Italian in my thirteenth defense. My aim is to beat Larghetti first, then Nelson’s record!’’
Tickets for Marco Huck’s WBO World Cruiserweight title defense against Mirko Larghetti at the Gerry Weber Stadium are available via eventim.de