By Karl Freitag
WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck (34-2-1, 25 KOs) again showed why he’s one of the most exciting fighters in boxing in a dramatic twelve round draw against Ola Afolabi (19-2-4, 9 KOs) on Saturday night at the Messehalle in Erfurt, Germany. Returning to cruiserweight after his near miss in a heavyweight title challenge against Alexander Povetkin, Huck seemed lethargic early against Afolabi, who was very motivated after losing a close decision to Huck in 2009. But the champion came on strong as the fight progressed. Huck had a huge round nine nearly stopping Afolabi. Very exciting two-way action down the stretch with both fighters leaving everything in the ring in the last three minutes. Scores were 114-114, 115-113 Huck, 114-114 as Huck retained his belt, barely.
WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz (42-2, 23 KOs) took a one-sided twelve round unanimous decision over WBO #15 rated Nader Hamdan (43-10-1, 18 KOs). The scores of 120-108, 117-111, 117-111 say it all. The 38-year-old Hamdan, 1-3-1 over his last 5 fights, stepped in on late notice after #3 George Groves pulled out. Stieglitz was originally slated to face Mikkel Kessler. Next up for Stieglitz is likely an attractive showdown with countryman Arthur Abraham.
Unbeaten heavyweight Kubrat Pulev (16-0, 8 KOs) claimed the vacant European title with an eleventh round KO over 6’7 Alexander Dimitrenko (32-2, 21 KOs). Pulov outworked Dimitrenko, who seemed to lose his confidence as the bout progressed. The end came in the eleventh when Pulev put Dimitrenko down for the count with a jab. Time was 2:59.
36-year-old heavyweight veteran Maurice Harris (25-16-2, 11 KOs) seemingly did enough to win an eight-rounder against unbeaten Edmund Gerber (20-0, 13 KOs), but judges scored it for Gerber 79-73, 79-73, 78-74.
Unbeaten light heavyweight Dustin Dirks (24-0, 18 KOs) scored a fourth round KO over former European champion Thomas Ulrich (32-7, 22 KOs). A body shot finished Ulrich.
Cruiserweight David Graf (7-0, 6 KOs) stopped Attila Palko (13-3, 11 KOs) in round four.
In a battle of unbeaten light heavyweights Robert Woge (9-0, 8 KOs) scored a third round TKO over Ferenc Hafner (12-1, 9 KOs)
Super middleweight Tyron Zeuge (2-0, 2 KOs) halted Santo Drago (4-3, 3 KOs) in round three.