Marco Huck won as expected against Ran Nakash, but Robert Helenius stole the show in Germany with a ninth round knockout of Samuel Peter in heavyweight action.
Helenius (15-0, 10 KO) took a leap from prospect to contender in the depleted division with the win over Peter (34-5, 27 KO), establishing himself as a legitimate fighter with the biggest and best win of his career. But it wasn't all roses for "The Nordic Nightmare," who looked weak in the early stages of the fight before coming back into it in the seventh round. In the ninth, a left hook put Peter on the canvas, but not out. It was just moments later that another left hook ended the fight, giving Helenius the win.
By calling Helenius a legitimate contender, I don't mean to say he's likely a truly special fighter. He's got real power, but he'd be a massive underdog against any of the current titleholders, and with good reason. He gets by more on raw power than anything else, but it's not the worst thing to have in today's heavyweight division. More notably, this turns Peter into a fringe contender at best, and nearing gatekeeper status at this point. While he was once arguably the most feared puncher in the division, that reputation took a big hit when he struggled against Jameel McCline in 2008. Since then, he's done little of note besides lose. He wins when in against the overmatched, and loses when not.
Huck (32-1, 23 KO) overcame a very game Nakash (25-1, 18 KO), the late replacement opponent taking a big leap in class. Huck won on scores of 118-110 (twice) and 116-112. Nakash constantly came forward and didn't let Huck get an easy night's work. While most would love to see Huck rematch Denis Lebedev or even Steve Cunningham, I wouldn't hold my breath on either fight coming to fruition.
- Sergej Rozvadovskij TKO-7 Thomas Ulrich: Ulrich, the 35-year-old veteran super middleweight, was supposed to be getting a win here, but instead drops one to Rozvadovskij (5-0-2, 4 KO), who I hope doesn't become a relevant fighter because his last name is incredibly awkward to type. Ulrich (32-6, 22 KO) has now been stopped five times.
- Dustin Dirks TKO-6 Robert Cocco: Dirks improves to 19-0 (13 KO) with the expected win.
- Artur Hein D-12 Tony Averlant: Hein is now 14-1-1 (8 KO), while Averlant is 15-5-2 (3 KO).