By Alexey Sukachev
Gerry Weber Stadium, Halle, Germany - WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck (32-1, 23KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over previously undefeated, and late replacement, Ran Nakash (25-1, 18KOs). Nakash was game and came forward for nearly the entire fight to press the action. Nakash's face was pretty swollen by the end of the fight. The scores were 118-110, 118-110 and 116-112.
He came in as nobody; a completely unknown fighter from Israel. But after twelve hard rounds of two-way action, WBO #10 and WBC #15 ranked Ran Nakash (25-1, 18 KOs) will come back home as a hero for his spirited effort with Huck. The fight, in fact, was much closer as a whole and appeared more like the third scorecard. BoxingScene had it 114-114 - a draw; but maybe a bit too grateful for 32-year-old little banger of Haifa, Israel.
Nakash is just 5'10'' but physically strong and built as a little, banging tank. His only chance was in close quarters with the big and powerful German fighter. From the opening bell, Nakash ran directly into Huck winging punches with bad intentions. He could barely connect to his head but landed several hard blows to the body. Huck was even wobbled a bit in the second round and Nakash continued to drive the action throughout the first half of the fight. He hardly hit Huck with anything clean but Nakash was too active and too aggressive in comparison with unusually passive champion. However, the German fighter also had his chances and applied some pressure alongside with some dirty tricks to trouble his small opponent.
The flow changed considerably down the stretch of the fight. Nakash, a late replacement for the originally pre-planned Italian former WBC champion Giacobbe Fragomeni, grew increasingly fatigued with each fought round. Huck wisely resolved a puzzle and started to deliver left and right uppercuts - his money punches - almost at will. Nakash was visibly rocked several times in rounds nine through eleven but bravely stood his ground and continued to move forward to eat more and more hard blows by Huck.
The Israeli fighter never stopped trying but his punches weakened, and his chances vaned after them. Still, he has nothing to be ashamed of. A spirited and determined performance by a clear underdog, which will help him to make a name of himself far from Europe.