Huck vs. Afolabi: Back to the future
The rematch is just around the corner. Once again Marco Huck (34-2, 25 KOs) and Ola Afolabi (19-2-3, 9 KOs) will fight it out for the WBO Cruiserweight World championship, this time at the Messehalle in Erfurt on May 5. In December 2009, the two athletes squared off in Ludwigsburg. Back then Huck won an exciting bout by unanimous decision. Two-and-a-half years later both men believe that they have grown and developed into better boxers. May 5 will show who really has put in the work since then.
The current champion is aware of the fact that his opponent is stronger than before. “He must have developed since our last meeting, otherwise he wouldn’t be the mandatory challenger for my belt,” said Huck. “But I myself have become a better boxer in comparison to two years ago. With each fight I become wiser and more experienced.”
Afolabi is also adamant that he is a much improved fighter than he was in their previous face-off. “I wasn’t completely prepared to take on Huck in our last fight,” he stated. “But now I have a new coach in Fritz Sdunek who has taught me so many things. He made me a more complete fighter.”
But nevertheless he is well aware of his opponent’s strengths. ”He doesn’t have many weaknesses. He is a very solid fighter and keeps coming forward.” According to Afolabi, he does see himself having the advantage on the night. “We are both better fighters than in the first fight, it is just that I have learned many more things than he has.”
But all eyes will not just be on the two main acts of the night. The duel between the two legends of German boxing, the coaches Ulli Wegner and Fritz Sdunek, who will once again cross paths, will also be fascinating.
On one side Wegner will do everything in his power to ensure that prodigy Marco Huck remains champion, while on the other hand Sdunek will be looking to take Huck’s belt off him with his man Afolabi. Asked who is the better coach, both fighters saw their respective just a nod in front. “I couldn’t be any happier than having Ulli Wegner on my side,” said the German whose reign as champion with Ulli Wegner by his side started back in August of 2009.
Afolabi believes that Sdunek has the upper hand. “I have a lot of respect for Ulli Wegner, but I have to say Fritz because of everything he has taught me.”
Both fighters see themselves having the edge over the other and both are convinced that the match-up will end in their favor. “I will be the world champion and will take the title with me,” said the interim-champion. “I am much stronger and my punch is much harder, it will not go the distance.”
But for Huck everything else than a victory is out of the question. “I know that I will win this one again. This time I will be even more convincing,” said the champion. “He should be prepared for an early end to his night.”