Marco “Captain” Huck (22-1, 17 KOs) is the new European cruiserweight champion following a 12th-round TKO victory over Jean Marc Monrose. Just four months after breaking his jaw in his win over Frantisek Kasanic, Huck displayed great punching power and explosiveness as he constantly punished his aggressive opponent with strong shots. A furious series of punches saw the referee step in after 77 seconds of the final round. “Today I proved that I can box well,” Huck said. “This win really means a lot to me. Monrose was a very strong opponent who kept coming at me but I stuck to the game plan. I really wanted to win the title for my home fans.”
Nine months ago, Huck suffered his first defeat of his career when IBF champion Steve Cunningham stopped him in the 12th round. However, on Saturday night, Huck showed much improved skills, cleverly keeping Monrose at bay. The Frenchman kept pressing the action throughout, but it was Huck who permanently connected with powerful punches to body and head. “I am proud of Marco,” coach Ulli Wegner said. “His opponent was very strong and kept marching forward. Marco needed to box very cleverly tonight and that is just what he did.”
With Monrose on the front foot throughout, Huck calmly waited for his chance to strike back. “Congratulations to Marco,” Monrose said afterwards. “His shots were very strong. I have a lot of respect for him and he deserved to win. I tried to up tempo towards the end but I could not do it.” Instead of a high-pace finish from the Frenchman, Huck inflicted some serious damage in the 11th when he pelted his opponent with heavy combinations. Another furious assault in the 12th then saw the referee wave the bout off – much to the delight of the ferocious Bielefeld home crowd, who had supported their fighter with “Huck, Huck, Huck” chants throughout. “I am sure this was a major relief for Marco,” manager Wilfried Sauerland stated. “Today he proved his worth. He will remain European champion for a long time.”
In the co-featured main event, Karo Murat (18-0, 11 KOs) defended his European super-middleweight title with a close points victory over Gabriel Campillo. After 12 rounds, the German was ahead 115-113 on two scorecards, with the third judge ruling it a 115-115 draw. “That was a tough fight,” Murat stated. “He made me work really hard but I did what my coach told me.”
Murat dominated the first three rounds before Campillo picked up speed, making good use of his size advantage. “It was tough to get close because he had long arms and also is a southpaw,” Murat stated. The European champion turned it on during the last 20 seconds of each round, firing in strong combinations to body and head. Murat then also finished strong to please the crowd. “I was surprised that the margin of the victory was so close,” Ulli Wegner assessed. “He did very well. This was a good learning experience for Karo. Towards the end he really proved his heart. One may never forget that he has only been boxing professionally for a short time. He will keep learning but today I am very pleased with his performance.”
Wilfried Sauerland also praised Wegner for his great developmental work. “You can only congratulate him for guiding the likes of Arthur Abraham, Marco Huck and Karo Murat to titles considering they all do not have an amateur background. That is impressive.”
On the undercard, First Lady Cecilia Braekhus clinched her ninth win in as many fights, comprehensively beating experienced American Kimberly Harris. In her first-ever eight-rounder, the Scandinavian beauty was ahead 80-72, 80-72 and 80-73 on the scorecards.
(Picture credit: SE)