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Huck vs. Briedis: Marco expects war on Saturday

Marco Huck

By Jim Dower: Former WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck (40-3-1, 27 KOs) and the unbeaten Mairis Briedis (21-0, 19 KOs) go at it this Saturday night on April 1 for the vacant WBC World cruiserweight title in Dortmund, Germany. Huck will have his IBO cruiserweight title on the line for the fight. The 32-year-old Huck expects the fight to be a full out war from start to finish, as that’s how both guys like to fight.

The question is does Huck still have enough left to fight that kind of match at this point in his career? In Huck’s last fight against Dmytro Kucher, he only seemed capable of throwing one minor flurry per round against the Ukrainian Kucher in beating him by a 12 round unanimous decision. Huck got the win, but he looked like a fraction of his former self.

That’s bad news for Huck if he can’t fight like he used to when he gets inside the ring with the 6’1” Briedis on Saturday night, because he’s going to be getting hit hard all night long unless he can get him out of there. Huck’s fighting style is perfect for Briedis, who does incredibly well against sluggers that came straight at him. You can compare Huck to 2 of Briedis’ past opponents Manuel Charr and Simon Vallily.

Both fighters went straight at Briedis, and both of them were knocked out early. Briedis already proved that he could beat a guy with better punching power than Huck in stopping the hard hitting Olanrewaju Durodola in 9 rounds in May of last year. Briedis used finesse at times to figure out Durodola before stopping him in the 9th round. Huck cannot fight a dumb fight against Briedis on Saturday night. He’s going to need to use some boxing skills for him to get the ‘W’ otherwise he’ll wind up getting knocked out again like he was in his 11th round Krzysztof Glowacki. Briedis hits just as hard as Glowacki does. He doesn’t fight southpaw like him though. Huck will be getting hit with mostly right hands, although Briedis has an excellent left hook as well.

“This fight will be a slugfest and we certainly will not play chess,” said Huck about the Briedis fight. ”It will be a real fight, but a clean fight…I always go for the KO!”

Huck does always go for the knockout, but he’s not going to knock Briedis out if all he can do is throw one or two flurries on Saturday night. Huck doesn’t have that kind of punching power. He’s someone that needs to hammer his opponents for many rounds before he gets a knockout. If Huck tries to slug with Briedis for the entire fight, he’s likely going to get knocked out himself.

Briedis would do well to make sure the fight doesn’t go to the scorecards on Saturday night. Briedis is the visiting fighter, and he cannot afford to count on the judges. Huck is fighting at home, and he’s been involved in a number of controversial decisions in Germany throughout his career in fights that he appeared to lose. Briedis should give it all he’s got to make sure that he alone controls the outcome of the fight rather than the 3 judges.

“I’m standing in the ring on Saturday with a warrior,” said about Huck. ”Marco is a champion. There can be no other plan than an early win. My plan is to take a tactical, disciplined approach and to box him. Round after round I will keep him under pressure and then we’ll see what happens,” said Briedis.

It sounds like Briedis realizes that he might need a knockout to make sure that he gets out of Dortmund with the World Boxing Council cruiserweight title slung over his shoulder. Huck is the IBO champion. That’s not one of the 4 belts that most fighters attempt to get, but Huck is the champion none the less. He’s the home fighter, and Briedis is going to need to go above the norm to make sure he gets his hand raised at the end. Briedis has the style to take advantage of Huck each time he comes charging forward

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