Alex Povetkin Destroys Mike Perez with First Round TKO
by Johnny Walker
While many opponents of both current heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko and now retired WBC world champ Vitali Klitschko have quickly faded away or never been the same again, Russian Alexander Povetkin seems to be the exception to that paradigm.
Since losing to Wladimir in 2013, Povetkin has emerged a new, fearsome fighter, gaining momentum with wins over Manuel Charr and Carlos Takam, and today continuing that streak in Moscow with a quick and decisive destruction of Mike Perez.
The bout had barely gotten underway when Povetkin, fighting at the highest weight of his career but looking as if that was added weight in muscle, with bulging arms and a rippling back, staggered a sleepy Perez with a hard right hand. Essentially the fight was already over, as Perez never really recovered, his legs now Jello as he tried to respond and the Russian crowd went wild.
Another vicious right hand sent Perez tumbling to the mat, and the fighter’s glazed eyes indicated that he was finished. Referee Massimo Barrovecchio perhaps unwisely sent Perez back into battle, and another right hand shot from Povetkin nearly sent Perez clear through the ropes and out of the ring. Povetkin (29-1, 21 KOs) was thus declared the winner of the bout by TKO at 1:31 of round one.
American WBC world heavyweight title holder Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (the belt captured with a win over Bermane Stiverne after Vitali Klitschko retired for a life in politics) now finds Povetkin, who many rate as the number two heavyweight in the world after Wladimir Klitschko, as his mandatory challenger for the belt.
In bouts on the undercard, WBC cruiserweight king Grigory “Pretty Boy” Drodz (40-1, 28 KOs) stopped Lukasz Janik in round nine after pitching a shutout with a boxing exhibition that entertained the Moscow crowd.
Muscular Russian cruiserweight Rakhim “The Machine” Chakhkiev (23-1, 18 KOs) also won the IBO cruiserweight title after a rather routine performance punctuated by a sudden massive body shot to the solar plexus of American Junior Anthony Wright (13-1-1, 11 KOs) giving him a TKO win at 2:39 of round eight.
Also, former heavyweight title challengers Manuel “Diamond Boy” Charr and Aussie Alex Leapai fought for relevance in the division, with the colorful Charr taking the fight by unanimous decision scores of 98-94, 100-90 and 97-92.
Captain Huck to Remain Sailing in Cruiserweight Waters…For Now
By Johnny Walker
After Marco “Captain” Huck (pronounced “Hook”) of Germany (34-2, 25 KOs) battered WBA “regular” heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin around the ring a few weeks ago and was deprived of what seemed to many observers to be a clear victory, it was thought the WBO cruiserweight champion would continue to sail his ship in the choppy waters of boxing’s heavyweight divison.
However, due to pressure from his promoter Wilfried Sauerland, the Captain will for the time being return to cruiserweight, and face Ola Afolabi (19-2-3, 9 KOs).
We believe that defending his WBO Cruiserweight Title is the best thing for Marco to do,” Wilfried Sauerland said in a press release. “At the age of 27 he is still very young for a boxer. He can always move up to heavyweight later.”
Huck himself had wanted to remain at heavyweight, and who can blame him?
Many “experts” thought Huck would get blown out, knocked cold by Povetkin, but instead it was the lethargic Russian who came within a hair of getting stopped, as the Captain bashed hard right hands into his face over and over again in the second half of their bout.
“I would have loved to remain at heavyweight but my team convinced me to stay at cruiserweight for the time being,” Huck says.
“That´s fine for me. I am happy to continue my domination and keep destroying opponents. I will start with Afolabi. He is a dangerous fighter but he has no chance against me.”
Afolabi is no pushover, and here’s hoping that Marco Huck can get himself motivated for this matchup, having already defeated the British fighter by a UD back in 2009.
Alexander Povetkin Defends WBA Title in Questionable Majority Decision over Marco Huck
By Johnny Walker
WBA “regular” heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin was awarded a majority decision win in Stuttgart, Germany, today after being battered around the ring by WBO cruiserweight king Marco “Captain” Huck for the second half of a thrilling heavyweight title fight.
The judges’ final tallies were 114-114, 116-113, and 116-112, but the scores could have easily been reversed.
Boxing Insider’s heavyweight division scribes had it scored in favor of Huck, 117-113 (JW) and 116-114 (PA).
Both fighters came out wary, Huck taking the opening round with some hard left jabs and a trademark flurry that got Povetkin’s attention. Povetkin came roaring back in round two, landing some hard hooks to Huck’s torso, and continued attacking in round three, scoring with a big uppercut and some nice three-punch combinations. It seemed that Povetkin might now be taking over the fight with his heavyweight power.
Huck, however, turned the tide once again in this seesaw affair in round four, leaving Povetkin on shaky legs–for the first of many times–with another flurry of punches. Povetkin now started what would be a continual pattern of bending forward and ducking down low to avoid Huck’s onslaught, leaving the German with nowhere to punch except the back of the Russian’s head. Huck now got the first of what would be numerous warnings from the invasive referee Luis Pabon, who had a negative impact on this fight with his one-sided approach. Not once would Povetkin be reprimanded for his tactics.
Povetkin was already starting to tire in round five, and Huck smartly started to throw uppercuts to try to catch the champion in the act of bending forward. Huck was also still landing some clean, hard jabs that were taking the steam out of Povetkin’s attack. Povetkin rallied in a close round six, landing some thudding body shots on the challenger, but Huck came back at the end of the round with three hard right hands.
Round seven seemed to this writer a pivotal one in the fight. Huck rocked Povetkin with a hard left, and the Russian again tried to bend low. Huck, however, kept pressing and flurried Povetkin, who now was staggering around the ring in a daze, almost going to the mat. Huck ran out of time, or he might have been able to finish Povetkin off then and there.
Round eight saw Huck start off with three stiff left jabs, but Povetkin, now clearly winded, connected with a hard straight right at the end of the round. Povetkin was breathing hard through his mouth in round nine as Huck stepped on the gas, landing an assortment of uppercuts, overhand rights and stiff left jabs. This pattern continued through rounds ten and eleven, as Povetkin looked as if he might collapse from utter exhaustion. Both fighters traded hard shots after the bell in the penultimate round.
Povetkin valiantly tried to rally and save his title in the final round, backing up the challenger with a flurry of punches. Now suffering from a couple of facial cuts and contusions, Huck nevertheless again rallied to land a succession of hard, flush right hands that had Povetkin reeling around the ring: if nothing else, the Russian demonstrated a great chin in this fight. Huck crashed a final huge right hand into Povetkin’s face at the bell, and it seemed that there would be a new WBA “regular” heavyweight champion.
Somewhat perplexingly, though, the judges disagreed, handing the majority decision to the champion. But to paraphrase HBO boxing commentator Jim Lampley, it would be fair in this case to say that while Povetkin (24-0, 16 KOs), won the fight, the brave challenger Marco “Captain” Huck (34-2, 25 KOs) won the event.
A rematch is definitely in order here.