Mike Coppinger

Huck proves he belongs but falls short against Povetkin

Marco Huck demonstrated that he could compete with a top heavyweight, as he engaged in a highly-entertaining scrap with Alexander Povetkin on Saturday at the Porsche-Arena in Stuttgart, Germany.

However, Povetkin was deemed the victor by a majority decision, 114-114, 116-113 and 116-112. THE RING scored it 115-113 for Huck.

Huck (34-2, 25 knockouts), acruiserweight moving up to heavyweight, started out slowly. Povetkin (24-0, 16 knockouts) appeared to be in control after three rounds.

But Huck, 209 pounds, came on strong in the fourth round, as he began to land early and often with overhand rights.

The 27-year-old native of Serbia realized that he couldn’t miss his target and dispensed freely with chopping rights over the duration of the contest, finding much success throughout the middle rounds.

Huck had by far his best round in the seventh round, drilling the 32-year-old Russian with overhand rights, after which Povetkin stumbled into the corner.

There was to be no in-fighting in this contest, the result of referee Luis Pabon’s repeated meddling. Pabon broke the fighters up every time they were close in proximity.

Pabon further stymied Huck’s attack by his continued warnings to him for hitting behind the head. Povetkin repeatedly charged Huck and ducked to avoid blows, leaving no other target for Huck.

The 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist, though gassed, showed tremendous heart. He closed the fight well, though he was staggered a few times.

The 11thwas an exceptional round, punctuated by the heavyweights exchanging hard blows following the bell.

THE RING’s No. 2 heavyweight was again badly hurt in the final round, as he struggled to make it to the bell.

Huck was the aggressor and the fresher fighter throughout, as Povetkin was seen with mouth agape for much of the contest. But the judges seemed to favor Povetkin’s superior jab.

The drama and action of the bout begged for a rematch, one which Huck wanted and to which Povetkin seemed to be open.

Povetkin, for his part, admits he overlooked Huck.

“Maybe I underestimated him,” said Povetkin, who recently parted ways with trainer Teddy Atlas. “I expected this to be easier. I got tired quite fast, I don’t understand why. My preparations and sparring were excellent.  Yes, maybe [a rematch] would be worth it.”

Huck was visibly frustrated, confident that he did enough to earn the nod.

“I think the crowd had the same opinion I have,” said Huck, whose lone loss was a 12thround KO to Steve Cunningham.

“He couldn’t even stand at the end,” Huck said. “Of course, I won the fight. … He’s the Olympic champion, the world champion. I expect him to be the favorite. But I showed my class tonight.”

Huck was asked whether he plans to remain at heavyweight or go back down to cruiserweight, where he still holds the WBO belt.

“After such a performance, I hope to get rematch because I dominated him,” Huck said.

Povetkin holds what the WBA calls its “regular” title. Wladimir Klitschko is the real WBA titleholder.


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