By Jake Donovan
It was a strange 2012 for Marco Huck. The cruiserweight titlist saw his year begin with a heavyweight title fight loss to Alexander Povetkin in a fight many felt he won, and end with a cruiserweight title defense win over Firat Arslan in a bout many believe should have went against him.
Sandwiched in the middle was perhaps the only accurately scored fight of his 2012 campaign, a majority draw in last May’s rematch versus Ola Afolabi.
The bout was every bit as close as their first fight three years prior, in which Huck eked out a close, debatable decision in his first cruiserweight title defense.
Four career draws suggest that Afolabi (19-2-4, 9KO) continues to learn the hard way to not leave his fate in the judges’ hands. Conversely, there are several boxing circles who suggest that much of Huck’s current title reign comes with the assurance that going the full twelve is all he needs to do in any close fight in order to remain a champ.
Will their third fight, which takes place today at Max Schmelling Halle in Berlin, play out any different? The oddsmakers don’t seem to believe so, nor does the Boxingscene.com staff, as evidenced by the below listed predictions offered on today’s cruiserweight title fight.
PREDICTIONS – MARCO HUCK vs. OLA AFOLABI (THIRD FIGHT)
“I think we will have another controversial decision in Germany. Most people will think Afolabi did enough to win at least 7 rounds but the judges will score it for the hometown fighter by scores like 115-113 and 116-112 which means this trilogy will still not have a definitive conclusion.”
- Ryan Burton (Huck by decision)
“It’s tempting to pick Afolabi to finally come out on top. Huck is due for one to finally go against him, and it stands to reason that his challenger should have won at least the first fight, if not both. He looked vulnerable against Arslan, though can be chalked up to looking past his opponent and focusing more on a Klitschko fight that was never going to happen. This one will once again be close, but will also once again end with Huck still a beltholder and Afolabi on the outside looking in.”
- Jake Donovan (Huck by decision)
“Afolabi SD. One of the best kept secret trilogies of recent memory, they both have waged spirited efforts and this fight is no different. I see a back and forth battle where Ola finally gets the W.”
- Ernie Gabion (Afolabi by decision)
“They've had two close, excellent fights. This should be no different. Afolabi has to be the sentimental favorite after two close calls, but the home court edge for Huck should still be too much to overcome.”
- Cliff Rold (Huck by decision)
“This is the most difficult fight to predict over this weekend, a real curse for an unlucky prophet, like me... But, hell, I'll go with Huck. They say the third time is a charm, but this fight is still in Germany, and Huck is still just 28. I don't feel he is finished after a tough year in 2012. And Afolabi will be a bit rusty in the beginning, I suppose, which will play in Huck's favour. In a physical fight he will be a little luckier and more consistent than Ola, even if Afolabi will deck him once.”
- Alexey Sukachev (Huck by decision)
Totals: Marco Huck 4, Ola Afolabi 1
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox