Cruiserweight titleholder Marco Huck overcame a spirited effort from 42-year-old challenger Firat Arslan to retain his WBO belt for the 11th time on Saturday in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.
Huck (35-2-1, 25 knockouts), a 27-year-old Serbian based in Berlin, won by scores of 117-111 and 115-113 (twice). Most observers believed the grueling 12-round battle of attrition could have gone either way.
Arslan (32-6-2, 21 KOs), an experienced former titleholder, had the edge in the first half of the bout but the younger man gradually fought his way into the fight. The bout appeared up for grabs going into the championship rounds and it was Arslan, who many viewed as “faded” coming into this title bout, who fought harder.
The German-born southpaw put it on Huck, who gamely fought back as he usually does when pressed.
Huck received what many fans are calling a controversial or poor decision (mostly due to the 117-111 scorecard) and some now question if he is a “faded” fighter given his hard-fought majority decision loss to heavyweight Alexander Povetkin in February and the majority draw he struggled to against Ola Afolabi in May.