Alexander Povetkin faced his toughest challenge today in Stuggart against Marco Huck, but retained his WBA "regular" heavyweight title by majority decision scores of 116-112, 116-113, and 114-114. Bad Left Hook scored it 115-113 for Huck, but this was no robbery -- you could argue that the 8-4 (116-112) card for Povetkin was too wide, but otherwise this was just a very close, very competitive, highly entertaining heavyweight fight.
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Povetkin (24-0, 16 KO) looked good through three rounds, to the point that it appeared as though Huck (34-2, 25 KO) was simply in over his head as a heavyweight. But in the fourth, Huck landed a telling shot that hurt Povetkin, a big right hand which he would go back to repeatedly over the course of the fight, and evened things up.
From there on out, it was a rough, back-and-forth fight that didn't lack for drama or action.
Povetkin threw more punches and looked fantastic when he was able to come forward with combination shots (obviously - as was pointed out in the live thread, who doesn't look good when they come forward throwing combinations?), and he was able to physically push Huck back when he landed. An early body attack worked nicely for Povetkin, but went by the wayside as the fight wore on.
Huck's only real weapons were a stiff, heavy jab, which appeared to be the more thudding of the jabs between the two fighters, repeatedly snapping Povetkin's head back, and his wild right hands. But they worked, because Povetkin walked into those right hands repeatedly, and was hurt a few times in the fight.
Povetkin evened things up with a better variety of blows, though his left hook, which is probably his best punch, was not as effective as usual tonight. Often times, the fight would look to be in Povetkin's favor, as he out-boxed Huck with clean, crisp combo shots, only for Huck to storm back with reckless charges.
The fight's only real issue was an overzealous performance from referee Luis Pabon, who blamed Povetkin's constant bending over on Huck, who would then throw right hands, but truth be told it's not entirely not Huck's fault for throwing. He threw the shots on purpose.
Hopefully, these two might decide to do it again. I think both of them can fight better than they did today, which may or may not make for a better fight, but this was intensely competitive and Huck deserves another crack just as much as any other heavyweight deserves a shot.