Did Povetkin Maintain his (Fake) WBA Title, or Did Marco Huck Win in his Heavyweight Debut?
Alexander Povetkin met former top dog at cruiserweight, Marco Huck, in a title defense of his (fake) WBA heavyweight strap Saturday in Stuttgart, Germany. The fight was broadcast to fight fans in the United States via EPIX, and the events unfolded live mid-afternoon. Did Povetkin and his 20 lb weight advantage have the winning edge? Or did Marco Huck pull off the big upset and become an instant two-division titleholder and legit big-time star?
Povetkin vs. Huck Results
Entertaining heavyweight title fights on consecutive weekends? After an exciting heavyweight bout between Vitali Klitschko and Dereck Chisora last Saturday, we got an even better fight today. Alexander Povetkin, 229, retained his WBA Heavyweight Title in a majority 12-round decision over WBO Cruiserweight Champion Marco Huck, 209.
It was a war and a compelling mesh of styles that made for a multi-layered fight that had viewers transfixed. Povetkin jumped off to a good start. The first round might have gone to Huck by a narrow margin. It was clear from the onset that this was going to be a good one. Both guys opened up in some moments of fierce exchanging.
When Povetkin opened up in the 2nd, the Huck cause looked to be going south. The champion was moving his hands and looked to be far the harder-hitting and better technical fighter. Huck went back to his corner with a bloody mouth.
Povetkin dug in to open the third. He was ripping Huck to the body with suddenly-thrown body shots, which exploited Huck’s high guard. Huck had no answer for the quickly-delivered shots and by the end of the round appeared to be in a bit of a funk–looking for answers.
Povetkin came out for the 4th continuing his crisp attack. Just when it looked like Huck might be fading, he crunched Povetkin with a big right hand to the top/back of Povetkin’s head, staggering him. Povetkin fought his way out of it, as the two traded throughout the round. After 4 rounds, I had it scored even, 38-38.
The punch which short-circuited Povetkin began a conundrum that would somewhat plague the rest of the fight–the rabbit punch vs. a fighter bobbing and weaving argument. Was Huck rabbit punching, or was Povetkin inviting problems with long-swooping ducks and bobs? For the first half of the fight, Huck seemed within his rights, but that would change later.
Huck continued his free-swinging ways in the 5th. Povetkin was better in traditional exchanging, with Huck ultra-dangerous in those “in-between” moments–coming out of ducks, clinches, and breaks. The Huck jab, snapping Povetkin’s head back, seemed to edge him the 5th.
The activity of Huck looked to be winning the day in the 6th. The Russian looked cautious, exercising care in light of the vigorous and strong Huck advance. Huck took an action-filled 6th, which featured nice trading.
The Huck jab continued to give Povetkin cause for pause in the 7th. After a telling hook by Huck, Povetkin got caught behind the head during another swooping duck move. He really should have abandoned that maneuver, with Huck scoring. He seems to think opponents aren’t allowed to punch during those sequences. At the end of the round, Huck smacked Povetkin wth a right that had Povetkin badly staggered. With barely any time left, Povetkin weathered the storm, but he was wobbled badly in a big round by Huck!
Huck took a 68-65 lead on my card into the 8th, where he caught Povetkin with some more shots during the Russian’s ill-conceived ducking maneuvers. But then Povetkin began getting busy, firing the jab, and appeared to be getting back into the swing of things after a nearly-disastrous 7th. Some nice rights edged him the round on my card.
In the 9th, it became clear that Huck was standing up admirably well to the heavyweight power of Povetkin. After some nice work to the body by Povetkin, Huck again blitzed him with a huge right hand! Povetkin looked a bit the worse for wear–huffing and puffing. After some borderline rabbit shots by Huck, this round also featured him blatantly targeting the back of Povetkin’s head.
Now would be a good time to discuss the merit of referee Jesus Pabon, who was frankly awful. Overly visible, he was at times breaking up clinches when the fighters were in no way connected. In addition, he warned Huck for rabbit punches in those marginal situations where you don’t know who to blame, but not a word of protest with Huck straight-away banging a still Povetkin behind the head? Wow.
The 10th opened with action getting a bit sloppy. The referee was breaking them up for no reason. But this round signaled a bit of a Povetkin resurgence and a big part of why he is now still champion. Ambushing Huck with some crisp combos, Povetkin pressed through increasing fatigue with a heartfelt effort to take the round.
The 11th might have been the best round of the fight. Povetkin was working hard. Marco Huck was doing his Sam Peter impression with the shots to the back of the head. And he’s lucky he didn’t pull a referee who is able to acknowledge it. But then Huck scored with some big rights that put Povetkin in a state of peril. Povetkin rallied back with combos!Both land flush rights after the bell. I gave it to Povetkin.
The final round saw Povetkin practically hyperventilating with Huck’s face all mashed up. Povetkin moved his hands and appeared to be taking the round when Huck scored with a big right. Both continued swinging for the fences. With both landing, the action reached a fever-pitch, with each man probably aware of the closeness of the scoring. I gave the round to Huck, making him the 115-113 winner on my card.
The scores were 116-112 and 116-113 for Povetkin, with the other card reading 114-114, giving Povetkin, now 24-0 (16) a majority decision win. While I had it for Huck, now 34-2 (24), I have no quarrel whatsoever with the bottom line that Povetkin won. On one hand, Huck did most of the hurting. Povetkin looked to be in deep doo-doo several times, while never having Huck in the same position. Two judges saying Povetkin lost only 4 rounds all night is a little hard to take. But in all fairness, many rounds were close and could have gone either way. It’s about numbers, especially in a fight without knockdowns or point deductions. Saying Povetkin won 7 rounds does not appear to be terribly out-of-line. 8 is definitely pushing it.
Despite any issues with the referee or judges, this was a great fight. Weekends like the last two do a lot toward dispelling the prevailing feeling that the heavyweight division is dead. Today, we had a great heavyweight fight and perhaps the birth of a rivalry. Things are looking up for the heavyweight division and even though the action is not centered here in the States, it’s good for the sport.
Thanks for checking out our post-fight coverage and wrap-up for the Alexander Povetkin vs. Marco Huck heavyweight title fight. Keep on coming back for more breaking boxing news updates all day long, and more details on the Povetkin vs. Huck results and aftermath.