This afternoon in Oldenburg, Germany, Marco Huck made the third successful defense of his cruiserweight title by defeating longtime heavyweight club fighter Brian Minto. Minto gave it a valiant effort, but in the end Huck's accurate punching was just too much and Minto's corner stopped the fight at the beginning of the 10th round, when Minto no longer had a reasonable chance of winning.
For the first couple of rounds, the two fought relatively even. In what would be a theme for the whole fight, Minto threw significantly more punches than Huck, and was generally more aggressive than Huck, but Huck landed the harder and more accurate punches. In the third round, Minto seemed to be clearly winning the round when Huck knocked him down with what appeared to be a rabbit punch. This continued to hold true. Nearly every round, Minto outworked and outlanded Huck, often bullying Huck against the ropes and landing probably a hundred or so hooks to the body over the course of the fight. But despite Minto winning most of the rounds outside of a few small spurts by Huck, Huck managed to get knocked down again in the fifth and the ninth.
At the time of the corner stoppage at the beginning of the 10th, Bad Left Hook had the fight scored 86-82 in favor of Huck, and you can be sure the judges had it wider than that. Without the knockdowns, Minto probably would have been winning the fight. Minto probably won two rounds where he was knocked down outside of the knockdown, but you can't just pretend the knockdowns weren't called, even if two of them appeared to come on rabbit punches. With Minto hopelessly behind, and clearly lacking the energy to get his body into his punches enough for a come from behind knockout, and with his nose apparently broken in the 9th, his corner threw in the towel and stopped the fight.
As an aside, Sauerland better never send Huck outside of Germany to fight. Much like stablemate Arthur Abraham, there are a number of dirty tactics that Huck uses, although Huck is MUCH dirtier than Abraham. I counted at least 15 rabbit punches or attempted rabbit punches in the fight, for which Huck was warned only once. The referee gave Huck time to recover on a "low blow" that landed on the belly button. Numerous times, Huck would either hold and hit, or hold one arm out to measure while throwing the other. These tactics wouldn't fly when Huck doesn't have a referee hired by his promotional company.
As for what's next, Minto will need to regroup, although he did look significantly more spry at cruiserweight. He still didn't seem to have the stamina to go 12 hard rounds, but he did seem to move a bit better, and was able to use his girth to his advantage there. Huck will likely have to face #1 contender Denis Lebedev next. Don't be surprised at all if that ends Huck's reign as a current titlist. While he's improved since he fought Steve Cunningham, he still has a lot of bad habits and he still fights in spurts.
On the undercard, Karo Murat won a unanimous decision against Tommy Karpency in a fight where it seemed to be a moral victory just that the Pennsylvania fighter kept it relatively close. Kubrat Pulev won by disqualification over giant oafish Evegny Orlov. Dustin Dirks and Dominick Britsch both won as well to remain undefeated.