By Alexey Sukachev and Per Ake Persson
Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany - WBO cruiserweight king Marco Huck (34-2, 25 KOs) moved up in weight - and fought like a champion, but it wasn't enough to upset the odds, at least on the scorecards, as he lost a twelve round majority decision to Alexander Povetkin (24-0, 16 KOs), who retains the WBA's "regular" heavyweight championship. The scores were 114-114, 116-113 and 116-112 for Povetkin. All three of the announcers on EPIX had scored the fight for Huck.
Povetkin using speed and quick punches in a very slow first round. Povetkin's face was red and there was some swelling after three minutes of action. Povetkin started coming forward and using good straight punches and digging to the body in the second. Huck's mouth was busted open at the end of the second. Povetkin was continuing to batter Huck in the third. In the fourth, Huck returned fire when he let his punches go. Povetkin had some trouble when Huck stunned him in the fourth.
Povetkin looked tired and his mouth was hanging open in the fifth round. Huck started to rally. Things were evening up in the sixth. A second wind for Povetkin in the seventh as he started to throw hard combinations, with Huck firing back with both hands to get Povetkin in trouble at the end of the round.
Povetkin started strong early in the eight, and Huck began to fire back to force Povetkin to move away. Huck once again letting his hands go to stun Povetkin a few times in the ninth with right hands and uppercuts. They were trading toe to toe in the tenth, with Huck doing the better work. A cut opened up below Huck's left eye at the end of the tenth.
Huck controlled most of the eleventh, but Povetkin came back at the end of the round to further damage Huck's face with solid combinations. Now Huck's right eye was swollen and bleeding as well. In the tweflth and final round, Huck was sharpshooting with big right hands right on the button. Povetkin stayed on his feet, but looked very tired. Huck closed the round with two big right hands.
Dominik Britsch and Roberto Santos, El Tigre de Benidorm, fought to a split 12-round draw in a fight for the EBU/EU middleweight title in fast paced no-knockdown affair. Britsch was off to a good start but Santos got stronger as the battle progressed. It was scored 115-113 Santos, 114-114 and an out of line 117-112 for Britsch.
Britsch was under pressure in last two rounds, plagued by cramps in the legs and a bad cut by the right eye. Santos kept coming and seemed like a close winner to this reporter on scores of 115-114.
Light middleweight "The Golden Jack" Jack Culcay-Keth (11-0, 7 KOs) impressively stopped overmatched Italian trialhorse Salvatore Annunziatta (15-6-4, 3 KOs) in seven rounds. Culcay-Keth also demonstrated his trademark skills, which allowed him to win 2009 Milano amateur world championship.
The German Equadorian was just way too fast and way too skillful for his overfought opponent. After a timid first round, Culcay landed a bit variety of punches on almost defenseless opponent. Annunziatta mounted a slight comeback in middle rounds to stay in the same ring with the German. However, Culcay-Keth was clearly dominating over the Italian. The end came late in the seventh after a pretty right uppercut, which penetrated Annunziatta's weak defense. The Italian got up but referee Ingo Barrabas soon halted the action as the Italian was totally helpless at the ropes.
Rising German heavyweight Edmund Gerber (19-0, 13 KOs) passed one of the toughest tests of his young career after getting by tough former Olympian Alexey Mazikin (17-7-2, 6 KOs) with the fifth-round TKO.
Gerber, 23, was the aggressor from the round one but bigger and heavier Mazikin did what he could to give the German fits. Both fighters jabbed on even terms but Gerber was more active, and Mazikin moved rather backwards than marched forward. Gerber used his left hooks to tag the Ukrainian several times in the second but Mazikin came back strong in the third with some big shots. He also cut Gerber over his left eye after a straight right hand. Rounds four and five were fairly even but at the end of the fifth, Gerber landed a major right hook to the spleen of Mazikin. There was no knockdown that time but immediately after the bell the Ukrainian took a knee. He was unable to get up from his stool after the break, making the official result a TKO in five for Gerber, who continues his education in the sport's most popular weight class.
Austrian middleweight Marcos Nader (15-0, 2 KOs) proved once again how feather-fisted he is, when he was taken to the full distance by incapable but extremely tough Germany-based Syrian fighter Baker Barakat (36-12-4, 24 KOs), who has lost for the first time in his last twenty appearances. It's to be noted that Barakat earned an improbable 23-1 record in 2011 fighting almost exclusively with rookies and professional losers but also capping wins over journeyman Turgay Uzun and former four-time world title challenger Khoren Gevor.
This time Barakat used his usual tactics, marching forward and throwing wild swings relying more on his dog preservance than on the real skills. Nader moved well and sticked his jab into Baker's face easily. The Syrian fighter was cut over his left eye in the second round. Nader took the first half of the fight, but Barakat was looking good int he midst of the fight. However, Nader increased his speed and started to move better in later rounds, outpunching and ouspeeding Barakat, who ate a huge number of right uppercuts and big left hooks. Nader was too light-fisted, however, to get closer to a premature stoppage.
Scores were 99-90 and 100-90 (twice) - for the Austrian. BoxingScene had it 98-92 - also for Marcos Nader.
In the starting bout of a meaningful show organized by Sauerland Event at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart, Germany, local talent Robert Woge (7-0, 6 KOs) got another stoppage victory by knocking out fading Italian veteran Roberto Cocco (10-9-1, 5 KOs) at 2:07 of the seventh round.
Former amateur standout Woge, 27, looked superior to his opponent in the power department. Former kick boxing multi-time world champion Cocco is 34 now, and his age and also the amount of eaten shots throughout his lengthy career are already taking a toll on his ability to take a punch. Both combatants threw blows with bad intentions, and their weak guards forced them to sustain this punishment rather than to avoid it. In the second part of the scheduled eight-rounder, Woge's punches became more and more damaging, and late into the seventh round the German fighter floored Cocco after a one-two combination with a leading straight left hand. Cocco got up but was too dazed to continue and he was counted out for good.