Marco Huck vs. Dmytro Kucher – Results
By Eric Baldwin: IBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck (40-3-1, 27 KOs) retained his IBO title with a less than impressive 12 round unanimous decision win over #6 WBC challenger Dmytro Kucher (24-2-1, 18 KOs) on Saturday night at the Tui Arena, in Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany. The judges scored the fight 117-111, 119-119-109 and 117-111. Kucher spent much of the fight fighting out of the southpaw stance and giving Huck all kinds of problems. Kucher’s pressure drained the energy out of Huck like a battery. Huck did not do well being pressured for 12 rounds. Huck won, but he looked his all time worst. If Huck had been fighting a better cruiserweight than Kucher tonight like Oleksandr Usyhk or Krzysztof Glowacki, he likely would have beaten badly.
Huck had the 32-year-old Kucher hurt in the 8th round after landing a hard right hand. Huck attempted to finish him off, but all he could do was throw him on the canvas. Huck wasted valuble time when he tossed Kucher down, because the referee had to slow the fight down to help Kucher up and wipe off his gloves. Huck was at his best in the fight in the first two rounds. He was throwing shots with a lot of energy, and attacking with flurries like he used to be capable of doing. However, Huck’s energy and work dropped off in the second half of the contest, and he was mostly being stalked by the painfully slow Kucher.
Huck looked like he was poised to hit Kucher while he was down. It was a good thing that Huck didn’t foul Kucher, because he’d been hitting him with rabbit punches periodically throughout the fight and getting away with it.
For the boxing fans that remembered Huck during his best years, he didn’t look like the vintage fighter he’d been in the past. In fact, Huck appeared to tire out completely in the last four rounds of the contest. You can argue the only reason he won the fight was because Kucher was even more tired than he was. They both fought like old men, and it was disappointing to watch. Huck was only capable of throwing occasional flurries in the fight. In the last four rounds, Huck was only fighting hard when the crowd was cheering his name. Otherwise, he was backing away from the very slow looking Kucher. What was interesting is that when the crowd would start getting into it, Kucher would be energized and go on the attack.
In the last three rounds, Kucher was the one pushing the pace the entire time. Huck fought like he was both tired and possibly injured. Huck wasn’t throwing right hands. He was slapping with his shots and throwing weak flurries with bad form. Most of the shots Huck threw in the last four rounds had very little steam on them.
Kucher’s right began to swell shut by the 9th round. It never did close completely, but you can argue that the only reason it didn’t was due to Huck’s work rate dropping way off in the last quarter of the fight.
Kucher was really pushing his shots through much of the fight. His punch lacked snap and seemingly didn’t have a lot of power on them. You could tell by the reaction Huck was showing that he didn’t like getting hit by Kucher’s shots, but they didn’t look powerful. Kucher looked like he had heavy hands, but he didn’t have huge power or the speed that he needed to cause Huck any real worries in the fight.
Huck suffered a swollen right eye from a clash of heads in the 6th. The two fighters wound up clashing heads numerous times in the fight, and he was frequently Huck who got the worst of it because he was leading with his face.
The energy level of Huck seemed to be really bad for this fight. He didn’t look nearly as good as he had in his previous fight against Ola Afolabi last February. Huck won that fight by a 10th round stoppage. However, Kucher had so much size, and he was constantly coming forward and hitting Huck with solid jabs and left hands to the head. Even though the shots were very slow looking, they were landing solid to Huck’s head. A lot of times, Huck would run into Kucher’s shots, and that would magnify the power on them.
Kucher had a good 11th round in landing shot after shot to the head of the tired looking Huck. The German crowd cheered encouragement for Huck late in the round, which resulted in him throwing a flurry of shots. However, most of the punches were picked off on the arms and gloves of Kucher. The punches that did land were very weak looking. The judges likely gave the round to Huck, but he clearly lost that round. He looked like a beaten fighter despite having a wide lead on the scorecards at the end.
Huck is currently ranked #2 by the World Boxing Council. He’s not likely going to be getting a title shot against WBC champion Tony Bellew anytime soon though. Huck’s best chance for a title fight is to use his IBO belt as a lure to get one of the champions to fight him. Technically, they could call it a unification match, even though the IBO isn’t seen as a major title in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans. By calling it a unification match, it might enable a champion like WBC belt holder Tony Bellew to steer around his #1 WBC mandatory Mairis Briedis after he faces heavyweight David Haye in early 2017. Bellew is supposed to be defending his WBC title against Briedis after the Haye fight. Huck might be an option for Bellew if he wants to steer around the Briedis fight for a little while longer.
There’s talk of Huck moving up to the heavyweight division in the near future. I think that’s a bad idea. Huck is too small to fight at heavyweight, and it’s too late in the game for him to move up. Huck has taken a lot of punishment in his fights at cruiserweight. I don’ think he would do well at heavyweight. If you put Huck in the ring with a guy like IBF champion Anthony Joshua or WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder, they would have too much size, reach and power for a small guy like Huck. He wouldn’t match well against the winner of the WBO title fight between Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz Jr. Those guys are too big for Huck. For Huck to have a chance of winning a world title at heavyweight, he would need to face the winner of the Shannon Briggs vs. Lucas Browne fight for the WBA ‘regular’ title. Those are both badly flawed heavyweights that Huck might be able to beat if he could get to them early before they get their offense in gear. As tired looking as Huck looked tonight, I think he’d be worn down by Briggs and/or Browne. Those guys can hit hard.
In other results on the card, light heavyweight contender Shefat Isufi (22-3-2, 17 KOs) defeated an over-matched Daniel Urbanski (21-18-3, 5 KOs) by a 3rd round knockout. It wasn’t much of a fight. Isufi was far too good for Urbanski.
Light heavyweight Christian Pawlak beat Ali Beqiray (2-1, 1 KO) by a 2nd round knockout.
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