Marco “Captain” Huck (27-1, 20 KOs) celebrated a successful first defence of his WBO Cruiserweight Title when he clinched a unanimous points victory over Ola Afolabi (14-2, 6 KOs). The 25-year-old German used his explosiveness and punching power to keep his opponent at bay. He was ahead 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113 on the judges´ scorecards. “I am happy about my performance,” Huck said. “It was a tough fight against a very awkward opponent who moved a lot and was difficult to hit. I am delighted to have defended my title and now look forward to a great and relaxing Christmas time.”
Huck was the aggressor from the first bell on as he constantly attacked Afolabi with his trademark assaults. He landed strong combinations in almost every round. The fifth round was Afolabi´s best, with an uppercut briefly wobbling the champion following a clash of heads. “I should have knocked him out,” Afolabi said. “But Huck is a great warrior and a great fighter. It was a very close fight and I thought I won, but there are a few things I could have done better.”
Huck´s coach Ulli Wegner liked what he saw. “Marco did very well. His style does not match well with Afolabi´s so we had to work hard in practice to implement a proper game plan. Marco fought a great fight and he did not allow himself to be provoked by Afolabi´s antics. I am pleased with his performance.” And manager Wilfried Sauerland added: “It was a great year for Marco. He is just 25 years old and already world champion despite making only very few amateur fights. Marco has matured as a fighter and as a person and he once again showed that in the ring against a tough opponent.”
In the co-featured main event, Russian heavyweight star Alexander Povetkin (18-0, 13 KOs) celebrated a successful first fight under star coach Teddy Atlas, knocking out Leo Nolan (27-2, 10 KOs) in the third round. Povetkin dominated the entire fight and dusted his opponent in the third after a flurry of punches. A strong left hook then sent Nolan down again for the referee to count him out. “I am very pleased with Alexander´s performance,” Atlas lauded. “He did what he had to do and knocked out and opponent that has never been knocked out before. Alexander is very talented and we will keep working hard to make him world champion soon. He will be ready when he gets the chance to fight for the title.”
Povetkin said it was good to be back in the ring after an eight-month break. “It felt good to box again,” he stated. “I have learned a lot of things from Teddy Atlas and it has been great to work with him. This was a good test for me. I will keep working hard in practice and wait for Wladimir Klitschko to fight me.”
Kalle Sauerland believes that Povetkin is “more than ready” for the showdown with the IBF/WBO champion. “This was another great win for Alexander,” he said. “He looked very impressive. The training with Teddy Atlas has paid off. We will fight Klitschko at any time, but it looks as if he prefers to make his WBO mandatory defence sagainst Eddie Chambers first. That´s the same Eddie Chambers Alexander has already beaten in the final of the IBF elimination tournament almost two years ago. We are ready for Klitschko. Every day Teddy works with Alexander will only make him stronger.”
Heavyweight hopeful Kubrat Pulev celebrated his fourth win in as many fights, comfortably outpointing Zack Page, Francesco Pianeta cruised to an uncontested victory over Evgeny Orlov and IBF Youth Middleweight Champion Dominik Britsch pleased the crowd with a fifth-round TKO victory over Cleber Argente Alves.