The battle between the British Tyson Fury (19-0-0 (14)) and the unbeaten heavyweight Denis Boytsov (31-0-0 (25)) will not take place. The CEO of UNIVERSUM is really disappointed: "It's really a shame because it would have been a great fight. Two undefeated heavyweight hopes in a direct duel. Unfortunately Denis is not in the shape to contest such an duel now. The bout could be placed in 2013", says Kluch. The CEO would necessarily realize the bout, but of course, he has to act in the interests of the athlete and paying attention to his situation. Therefore the bout is off.
The Fans at the Gerry Weber Stdion in Halle/Westphalia, Germany, witnessed a great show. WBO Cruiserweight World Champion Marco Huck defended his title for the tenth time in front of 7.000 spectators. After twelve thrilling rounds, the judges saw the 27-year-old with 115:113, 115:113, and 117:111 ahead of his opponent Firat Arslan. After his 35th victory out of 38 fights as a professional, Huck is expected to receive the status as WBO´s Super-Champion.
But the bout against Arslan was anything but plain sailing. “I fought like a lion against Firat – all the other world champions of this division would probably have lost tonight,” said Huck. “Now I have even more respect for him. This was one of the toughest fights in my career.”
Huck started the fight well, but the 42-year-old challenger did not wait long in his attempt to force his tactics on to his opponent, which mainly consisted of attacking. Huck was seemingly surprised by the aggressive style and found himself in the ropes time and time again. In round two blood started to drip out of the champion´s nose. But that did not hinder Huck in the slightest. From that moment on the man from Berlin started to turn up the heat and both men traded hard shots.
At the post fight press conference coach Ulli Wegner said: “Marco landed a lot of clean shots but Firat got through the defense with his uppercuts. Please forgive me for not talking about the result. Of course both sides will see their own fighter as the winner. Fact is: This type of fights do not happen everyday. We were able to witness a great contest.“
In the following rounds, Huck had his hands full with trying to contain Arslan´s constant pressure. The former WBA World Champion repeatedly found the target with his uppercuts to the head of his opponent. The Southpaw got himself into the lead after the first five rounds.
But from then on, the WBO Champion slowly but surely took control and started to get more active. Although that did not stop Arslan from going forward, it was evident that as the fight went on the power in his punches started to fade. Huck on the other hand proved why he is known as one of the hard hitters in the division and decked his opponent with a huge number of big shots. Especially towards the end of the championship bout, it was clear that the prodigy of Ulli Wegner still had some energy left.
At the end all three judges saw Huck as the winner. Arslan did not agree with their decision. “I am grateful to Marco for giving me this chance. But I see myself as the winner. I was dictating the fight from the first to the last round. “
Afterwards the judges scoring was the cause from some lively discussions. Kalle Sauerland: “Most boxing experts from around the world had Huck as the winner of the fight. Nevertheless, I understand that the camp of Firat Arslan is frustrated. In my opinion this is a fight all of us would like to see again. My respect to both of these guys. It was an amazing duel.”
Indeed two well-known experts in the world of boxing, ESPN´s Dan Rafael in America and Dean Powell of BoxNation in England thought that the champion had done enough. “I have Huck 116-113, terrific action fight, extremely close but Arslan was excellent. Great fight,“ said Rafael. Powell commented: “Captain Marco Huck should go down as one of Germany's all time greats, true warrior of the ring!”
SMIGGA: ‘I STILL THINK I CAN GET TO WORLD LEVEL’.
It is a measure of the high regard that experts have for Paul Smith’s ring talent that, despite capturing British and Commonwealth titles, the personable Scouse super-middle still believes he has plenty more to achieve.
A former senior ABA champion and 2002 Commonwealth Games silver medallist in his teens, ‘Smigga’, who recently turned 30, has lost to James DeGale (reigning European champion) and George Groves (current Commonwealth king).
Following a year long absence nursing a fractured right hand, the likeable Liverpudlian finally returns to duty in a six rounder on Queensberry Promotions' big event at the Liverpool Olympia in his home city this Friday - live on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546) - and, in an interview with boxing writer Glynn Evans last weekend, vows to put right a few wrongs.
You’ve been out for a year following your shattering second round stoppage loss to George Groves for the British and Commonwealth titles on Bonfire Night 2011. You started brightly stunning George with a right hand on the bell to end round one. Why did it fall apart in round two?
No excuses. I’d had a fantastic camp with Joe Gallagher and he can take none of the blame. In round one, I’d been competitive throughout but, after catching George with that shot, I knew instantly I sat on my stool that the right hand had ‘gone’. I didn’t connect properly and snapped the metacarpal.
All I could think was: ‘How can I go another eleven rounds with someone as big and strong as George Groves with just one good hand? When the bell sounded I just ‘went for it’ and never saw the right hook that George copped me with. It’s the hardest I’ve been hit and shook me right up. It was the perfect shot. The perfect, lucky shot! My senses had gone and I never recovered. Hat off to George. It was very frustrating but at least I never took a long, sustained beating.
How good was George? How did he compare with James DeGale who relieved you of your titles in December 2010?
George is a good kid and he beat a far better version of Paul Smith than DeGale beat. For some reason against DeGale, I wasn’t there physically or mentally on the night, despite doing everything asked of me in training. George beat me at my best, after a good camp. He’s a lot stronger and hits far harder than DeGale.
DeGale’s a bit classier and flashier but he hit me with pretty much every shot he threw and never hurt me once.
What have you been up to in the 12 months since the Groves fight?
The broken hand kept me out of the gym completely until February, I couldn’t even run, and I ballooned up to 15½ stone! I ended up having two operations on the hand because it got infected after the first op and they put a wire through the bone marrow. It was a bad break.
I’ve been back in the gym, gradually chipping the weight away. I was waiting for George to give up his titles, hoping to meet Kenny Anderson, the mandatory, for the vacant belt but they slipped Robin Reid in.
I’ve been away sparring with ‘Chocolate’ (WBO middleweight king Peter Quillin) and a few of (Julio Cesar) Chavez Jnr’s sparring partners at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in LA. I’ve also been over to France to spar that Hassan N’Dam.
You’ve probably seen me doing a lot of TV work. BoxNation have shown trust in me and given me the freedom to sit behind the mic at a world heavyweight title fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Dereck Chisora.
I’m honoured that people appear to value my opinion. I just try to say it how it is, give a little bit of praise and, hopefully, constructive criticism. It’s a labour of love that I’d certainly like to pursue after I hang my gloves up but that’s a while off yet.
How are the rest of the Fighting Smiths?
All good. Liam’s fighting Friday night as well while Stephen’s having a bit of time out because he’s just had a baby lad, little Frankie. He’s also using the time to get an operation done on his ear which kept bursting and needed rebuilding.
He’s rated number three by the WBO at superfeather and, the way things are panning out, could be mandatory pretty quickly. Hopefully, he’ll be back out in a six rounder in December.
Our Callum has just turned pro. He’s very talented; a 6ft 3in super- middleweight who can box at range and mix it up inside. Despite his height, he’s a strong lump.
You’ve been working with coach Joe Gallagher for the last year or so and were quick to shield him from any criticism following your defeat to Groves. What’s he been able to add?
I really wish I’d gone to him about five years ago. Joe’s made for the way I fight and he’s made me realise the full potential of the fitness inside my body. He’s also got me comfortable fighting inside again – something I’d been good at while I was working with Billy Graham – which I’d lost a bit of confidence with.
Thanks to Joe, I never felt fitter than I did for the Groves fight and I already feel fitter for this six rounder on Friday than I did going into my championship fight with DeGale!
At Joe’s gym, I’m getting quality sparring, particularly with Callum Johnson, Hosea Burton and our Callum. I’m really buzzing again.
You’ve spoken sporadically about returning to the middleweight division. What are your current thoughts?
No. Super-middle’s my division. My ideal fighting weight is probably around 165, 166 (lbs) and I start to ‘take away’ if I try to drop below that. If they carried me on and off the scales, sure, I could probably still make 160 but there’s a big difference between making a weight and performing at it.
Given your amateur achievements as a teenager, do you sense that you’re still to realise your full potential as a pro?
Definitely. I still think I can get to world level. I’ve not had too many wars and I’ve never abused my body.
I’d have strongly fancied my chances in a crack at (ex WBO king) Robert Steiglitz who just got beat by Arthur Abraham. All you need is a chance.
But I have to be realistic. Though I’d love rematches with both Groves and DeGale to try to set the record straight, its pointless me calling them out after they’ve both beat me well, and I’ve done nothing since. Those matches can’t be made until I’ve at least won the British.
What’s your assessment of Edinburgh’s Kenny Anderson, who recently picked up the vacant British title by stopping Robin Reid in five rounds last month?
Made for me. Kenny’s strong and a big puncher, no doubt, but he’s predictable. Whereas, stylewise, James DeGale was always likely to be a hard night, Anderson comes at you in straight lines and when you take those straight lines from him, his head goes. He’d not be hard to find and I’ve got the tools to frustrate him.
Finally, what are you hoping to get out of Friday’s assignment against Belfast journeyman Tommy Tolan?
Basically, to get back on the horse and test my hands. Obviously I need a good win to persuade the Board to nominate me as the next mandatory to Anderson. Bizarrely, I’ve commentated on two of Tommy’s fights. He’s been in with some good kids.
I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of rounds of quality sparring so, despite the lay-off, I shouldn’t be too rusty. Some rounds wouldn’t do me any harm but, with my track record for cuts, I’ll be looking to get rid of him as quickly as possible.