Russia’s Alexander Povetkin defended his WBA heavyweight title on Saturday night with a majority decision win over Germany’s Marco Huck, who was making his debut in the division from cruiserweight.
The fight was scored 114-114, 116-113 and 116-112 to the Russian, but Huck produced a brave performance over the 12 rounds in Stuttgart.
Having defended his WBO cruiserweight title eight times, this was Huck’s first fight at heavyweight and the 27-year-old give away 9kg.
Saturday’s win leaves the 32-year-old Povetkin with a record of 24 victories, including 16 knock-outs, and no defeats.
After a lively first round, Huck was warned for holding by referee Luis Pabon, while Povetkin caught the Serbian-born German with two right hooks in the second.
Povetkin landed several powerful body shots in the third as he managed to briefly pin Huck to the ropes, but the challenger landed a good right.
Huck clearly took the fourth with several shots on two separate occasions, but the challenger was again warned for a punch to the back of the head.
Huck went toe-to-toe with the champion midway through the seventh and a clean shot to the chin had the Russian wobbling.
At the start of the eighth, Povetkin landed several good head shots of his own and when a small cut opened under Huck’s left eye in the 11th, the Russian had Huck in real trouble.
Huck still managed a full shot to the face in the 12th and the challenger finished with a flurry of punches with both fighters exhausted at the final bell.
British boxer Dereck Chisora, who caused controversy by brawling with ex-champion David Haye last weekend in Munich, returned to Germany and was ringside in Stuttgart to watch the fight.
Having lost to WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko on Feb. 18, Chisora remains under investigation by Munich police for his part in the brawl during the post-fight press conference when he threatened to shoot Haye.
Chisora faces a hearing before the British Boxing Board of Control hearing in London on March 14.
CLEVERLY v KARPENCY
Nathan Cleverly outclassed US challenger Tommy Karpency to easily retain his WBO light--heavyweight crown at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on Saturday.
The talented Welshman dominated his opponent from start to finish of a one-sided contest to extend his record to 24-0, including 11 knockouts, with a unanimous 120-108, 120-108, 120-108 victory.
Karpency, ranked No. 11 by the WBO, was never in the contest as Cleverly pummeled him with shots to the head and the body, -seemingly connecting at will through the Pennsylvania southpaw’s feeble defense.
Fighting before a Welsh crowd for the first time in four years, Cleverly was always in control against Karpency, who spent much of the bout trapped on the ropes without showing any willingness to trade blows.
The only blight on an otherwise polished display for Cleverly was his failure to force a stoppage against an opponent who was on his back foot from the outset.
The defeat saw Karpency’s record go to 21-3-1 with 14 knockouts.