Marco Huck robbed in Germany against Alexander Povetkin
We look back at the best of the weekend's boxing action, including Alexander Povetkin's defeat of Marco Huck
Boxer of the weekend
Devon Alexander. Against Marcos Maidana on Saturday night, once-beaten American Devon Alexander reminded his home fans in St Louis of all his ability. Winning a near shut-out over the 10 rounds, Alexander showed that he can be force in the welterweight division. The judges’ scored the fight 100-90, 100-90 and 99-91 and these accurately reflected the one-sided nature of the contest. Alexander was faster, more mobile and surprisingly, more damaging than his opponent, who is perceived to be one of the biggest hitters in and round the division. Maidana had his moments, landing flush right hands at times but Alexander never looked troubled and outclassed his slower opponent with his superior movement and energy. The victory improved Alexander’s record to 23 wins, 13 by way of knockout and one defeat. Fighting at 147lbs helped the American as he looked fresh and energised throughout the bout, reminding fans and pundits of the talent that had so many excited just over two years ago. Expect him to stay in the welterweight division and work his way into title contention.
Fight of the weekend
Alexander Povetkin v Marco Huck. Scorecards aside, this was an exciting and compelling 12 rounds of heavyweight boxing. Povetkin, an Olympic gold medallist and arguably the best of the big men not named Klitschko faced former cruiserweight champion Huck on Saturday night in Stuttgart, Germany. Pundits had predicted that the fight could be entertaining but Povetkin was still the favourite. Yet after the final bell, many believed Huck had done enough to win by decision, pushing his Russian opponent all the way and landing the more telling blows, nearly stopping Povetkin several times. However, as is often the case in boxing and especially Germany, the judges’ score cards did not accurately reflect the nature of bout. One judge scored it a 114-114 draw which was fair, but the other two officials deemed the bout to be one sided in nature with scores of 116-113 and 116-112. These two officials were wrong and robbed Huck of what was a brilliant performance. The man from Serbia was outweighed by his opponent by 20lbs in his first heavyweight bout but he put on a magnificent performance and deserves a rematch for his skills in the ring alone. Hopefully these two will fight again soon and the judges’ will be able to score a boxing match properly next time around.
Knockout of the weekend
Adrien Broner. The undefeated American WBO super featherweight champion defended his title for the first time on Saturday night against undefeated and talented countrymen Eloy Perez. As the main undercard for Devon Alexander’s clash against Marcos Maidana, many expected this fight to be the best on the show. It was good but the champion finished things before the bout could evolve into a real show. Broner produced the best performance of his professional career as he easily handled his opponent before stopping him in the fourth round. The knockout came with less than a minute go in the round, as Broner landed an overhand right and then a right hook to the back of the head as Perez fell to the canvas. The challenger tried twice to rise to his feet but could not, forcing the referee to stop the bout. Broner had won every round up until that point and looked vastly superior, despite many tipping the challenger to come away victorious. Broner was just as entertaining in his post fight interviews: “Call me the ‘CAN-man’ cause anybody CAN get some, Mexi-CANs, Afri-CANS, Ameri-CANs, even Republi-CANS”. The victory improved Broner’s perfect record to 23 wins, 19 by the way of knockout and he looks set to dominate his division despite being just 22 years old.
Decision of the weekend
Scoring of boxing matches. Every week in this column there is at least one bout tarnished by inaccurate or totally implausible score cards. This week the most high profile casualty was Marco Huck as he lost by mixed decision to Alexander Povetkin in Stuttgart despite pushing his undefeated opponent all the way and winning the bout according to many respected pundits and individuals at ringside. A week ago, Gabriel Campillo was robbed against undefeated American Tavoris Cloud in Texas and earlier in the month, Steve Cunningham could have gotten more out of his contest with Yoan Pablo Hernandez, also in Germnay. Too often in boxing the established star or the boxer with the superior promotional company wins the nod in close decisions from judges and this hurts the sport. Fans need to believe that the best fighter wins every time regardless of politics but unfortunately many are resigned to a “home decision” if a bout goes the distance. Any judge who delivers a verdict as inaccurate as those in Povetkin v Huck should have to go and explain their decisions to an independent advisory panel. If the same judge is called upon the panel three times within a calendar year and is unable to justify his scoring the individual should be banned from judging boxing matches. If this was implemented fans would be able see that there is due process and repercussions for those who ruin their sport.
The Sport Review’s boxing section is sponsored by Kinetica, fuelling Ben Youngs, Tommy Bowe, Stephen Ferris, and London Irish.
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