WBO cruiserweight champion Marco “Käpt’n” Huck (26-1, 20 KOs) is wrapping up the last few days at his training camp in Kienbaum before heading to Ludwigsburg on Sunday for his December 5 showdown against WBO interim cruiserweight titleholder Ola Afolabi (14-1-3, 6 KOs).
Mr. Huck, you became WBO world champion on August 29th at the Gerry Weber stadium in Halle (Westfalen), Germany. How important was this win for you?
The feeling to be world champion was simply indescribable. At first I couldn’t believe it. It was a mixture of joy and exhaustion at the same time. But when the referee raised my arm and I was announced as the winner, it was pure joy.
Victor Emilio Ramirez was a very tough opponent. How high would you rate your win against him?
I see this as confirmation of what I said before the fight. If I concentrate on training and preparing myself properly, I can beat any cruiserweight in the world. Moreover, the win was also due to the performance of the whole team around me. All of them were energetic and worked hard, most notably, of course, the trainer. Ulli Wegner gave me exactly the right tactic to enter the fight. I think with a different strategy, I would have failed.
So will having the right tactical plan also be decisive in Ludwigsburg?
It’s always hard to tell in advance. I just want to box intelligently, and the same time show the audience a good fight. My trainer has intensively evaluated the capabilities of Ola Afolabi and I’m sure he’ll give me exactly the right tips. I then need to implement what he devised in the ring.
Ola Afolabi, of course, has a very different style than Ramirez. He’s very tricky.
That’s right. He’s has a lot of upper body movement and therefore is very difficult to hit. In addition, he has a very dangerous uppercut. It won’t be easy!
Afolabi said that this fight will be harder for you than the fight against Ramirez. Do you see the same way?
The next fight is always the hardest. In any event I’m ready for hard exchanges of heavy punches. Whether it’ll actually be like that, I’ll only be able to say when I go against him in the ring. But I know he’s dangerous. Against Enzo Maccarinelli and Eric Fields, he made a strong impression.
For a first title defense, Ola Afolabi is a tough nut to crack. Do you see the same way?
By winning the interim title, he earned the right to compete against the world champions. So it’s right that he gets his chance. Anything else in terms of sportsmanship wouldn’t be proper. So far I have never dodged an opponent and have already beaten a couple of nasty competitors. This has contributed to the fact that I’ve had a few spectacular fights and that have inspired the public, so I see the positives. At the top of the world the air is thinner, and as a champion you have to go against the best boxers, that’s obvious.
Your challenger has announced that he is coming to get what belongs to him and will be taking the title home.
I disagree. I won the world championship belt against a very strong defending champion and will do my utmost to defend the belt. For me it’s a kind of status symbol. I take it to the training camp every day and look at it. That motivates me. With the world championship belt, I always remember why I’m tormenting and driving myself in training. I’ve won other titles before, the IBF Intercontinental title, European Union title, and European title, but the world champion’s belt is a very special thing. I am not here to give it away. Ola Afolabi will be surprised!