By Alexey Sukachev
Gerry Weber Stadium, Halle, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany - Marco Huck (35-2-1, 25KOs) won a very close, and some felt controversial, twelve round unanimous decision over former WBA beltholder Firat Arslan (32-6-2, 21KOs). The scores were 115-113, 115-113 and a very unrealistic 117-111. Not everyone was happy with the outcome, with some ringside observers scoring the contest for Arslan. The British broadcasters at BoxNation scored it for Huck by two or three points, but journalist Steve Bunce was in the studio and had it 115-114 for Arslan. BoxingScene had it 116-112 - for Arslan, who fought his heart out.
Arslan, still very dangerous at 42, sparred 160 rounds with ten different boxers to prepare for this fight and the work paid off with his strong performance.
After a slow first, Arslan was unloading with both hands in the second and busted up the face of Huck. Arlsan looked very strong and was pushing Huck back with hard combinations. Huck, in his usual style, was throwing big combination in the final twenty seconds of each round. Arslan was staying on top of Huck, landing big uppercuts and not allowing him to work.
Huck started to rally in the fifth round, with punches to the head and body. It was close in the second half of the contest, with Huck unloading heavy to the body and Arslan pushing forward and trying to land big bombs to the head. Arslan got tired in the later rounds, but Huck seemed to be low on energy himself and didn't take full advantage of the situation.
In the twelfth and final round, both boxers let it all hang out - trading punches with both hands and doing everything to secure that final point. Arslan seemed to get the edge in the final two rounds, but the action was close and both fighters worked very hard. Arslan, who had plenty of Turkish supporters in the audience, won over the crowd with his strong showing and received a lot of cheers at the final bell.