“Today I showed that I can box well against uncomfortable opponents,” said Marco “Captain” Huck (24-1, 19 KOs) after retaining his European cruiserweight title with a third-round TKO victory over previously unbeaten Geoffrey Battelo (18-1, 15 KOs) on Saturday. “I am very pleased to have ended the fight in such spectacular fashion. My goal has always been the world title and I will keep working hard to win it.” Next up for Huck could be a showdown with the EBU mandatory challenger and former world champion Firat Arslan.
The 24-year-old Huck floored dusted his opponent with a huge right uppercut in the third round. After Battelo got back to his feet, Huck landed another powerful series of punches and the referee waved the bout off.
Coach Ulli Wegner praised his fighter for a brilliant performance. “Marco did very well,” he stated. “That was one hell of an uppercut. He is so explosive. All the young guys like him really keep impressing me – they are making big fights without having a great deal of experience. That is very astonishing.”
And Battelo, who was taken to hospital afterwards, said: “Huck is a strong fighter. I lost a battle but not the war. I will bounce back.”
As for a possible showdown with Arslan, Sauerland Event General Manager Chris Meyer said, “We are looking forward to that fight. We will negotiate with Universum in the next weeks. The fight could happen in the next two or three months – if Arslan does not act like Felix Sturm and avoids a showdown.”
In the co-featured main event in Riesa, IBF Intercontinental Cruiserweight Champion Enad Licina overcame a first-round knock-down to score an impressive eighth-round TKO victory over Jose Luis Herrera. It was a war from the first second on, with both men trading big punches. After Licina landed a big hand, Herrera dusted him with a right. “I made a big mistake and almost paid dearly for it,” he said. “But I am very proud to have kept my composure.” Until the fourth round, it remained a slugfest with plenty of big hits and exciting exchanges. “I finally listened to my coach and he reminded me to stay calm and stick to the tactics. Once I did, I was fighting much better,” Licina added.
The 29-year-old made better use of his jab in the following and slowly but surely picked Herrera apart. In the eighth, he finally dusted him with one of his big rights to the chin. Herrera got back up but when he found himself in trouble again, the referee stepped in. “Enad really proved his big heart tonight,” manager Wilfried Sauerland lauded. “His comeback was very impressive.”
Coach Manfred Wolke believes there is still some work to be done. “Enad did not stick to the game plan at all,” he stated. “He should not have traded punches but keep away from Herrera. He is very intelligent but he was too eager tonight. But then he really showed his biggest strength: that he is able to keep his composure and turn things around under pressure.”
In the third title fight of the night, EE-EU Light-Middleweight Champion Alexander Abraham cruised to an uncontested points victory over Nikola Stevanovic. The judges scored the bout 118-110, 118-110 and 118-111. The younger brother of King Arthur Abraham almost clinched a stoppage victory in the 11th when he had flattened his opponent with a huge left hook to the chin but Stevanovic managed to survive.