Marco Huck vs. Mairis Briedis – Official weights
By Jim Dower: Marco Huck (40-3-1, 27 KOs) and top ranked unbeaten #1 WBC contender Mairis Briedis (21-0, 18 KOs) both weighed in successfully on Friday for their fight this Saturday night for the vacant WBC cruiserweight title at the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany. Huck weighed in at 199.5 pounds, and looked sharp like he always does. Briedis came in at the same weight at 199.5 lbs. There was some concern that Briedis might not make the weight after he failed to be weighed in for the World Boxing Council’s 7-day weight check.
Briedis had been weighed in for the 30-day weight check, but not the 7-day weigh-in, which begs the question whether he had to take off a lot of weight to get down to the 200 lb. cruiserweight limit for the fight. If Briedis did struggle weight the weight, we could find out on Saturday if he starts to face early in the fight.
During the face off, Huck stared at Briedis in a menacing way in an apparent effort to psych him out. Briedis didn’t look he was anxious in any way. He had the appearance of someone that was getting an ordeal over with that he was putting up with. Huck’s efforts during the face off suggest that he might be more than a little concerned with Briedis. After all, this is Huck’s best opponent since his 11th round knockout loss to Krzsztof Glowacki in September 2015. In some ways, Briedis is a better fighter than Glowacki. He’s more disciplined, and he’s a more complete fighter.
Briedis doesn’t telegraph his shots nearly the same way that Glowacki does. The thing that the southpaw Glowacki had going for him in his win over Huck was his right hook. Glowacki was able to hit Huck with his right hand frequently when he would charge him in his usual brawling manner. Glowacki missed with a lot of his right hooks, but when he did connect in the 11th, it was disastrous for Huck.
Also on this Saturday’s card, WBO, WB World female middleweight champion Christina Hammer (20-0, 9 KOs) will be defending her titles against Sweden’s Maria Lindberg (15-1-2, 8 KOs) in a 10 round bout. Hammer, 26, is quite a bit younger than the 40-year-old Lindberg. Her youth and size could be a major asset in getting a victory. Hammer has looked great recently in defeating Kali Reis and Melinda Lazar. Hammer beat Reis twice in the last 2 years.
Huck will be defending his IBO cruiserweight title on Saturday. This isn’t the title that Briedis is mainly focused on winning, however. Briedis wants the WBC belt, because that’s the title that will open doors for the Latvian fighter.
Huck and Briedis will be fighting for the vacant World Boxing Council cruiserweight title that was recently vacated by champion Tony Bellew. The British fighter was injured when he moved up to heavyweight to face David Haye on March 4. Bellew won the fight after Haye suffered an injury of his own in tearing his right Achilles. Bellew cracked a knuckle on his right hand, and he was not going to be able to get back into the ring soon to defend against the winner of the Huck-Briedis fight. Bellew probably wouldn’t have bothered to defend his WBC title anyway though, because he says he’s only going to fight a few more times before he retires from boxing. Those fights will be bigger ones at the heavyweight level against the stars in the division.
“This fight will be a slugfest and we certainly will not play chess,” said Huck . ”It will be a real fight, but a clean fight…I always go for the KO!”
Hopefully it will be a clean fight on Saturday between Huck and Briedis. Huck sometimes throws rabbit punches in his fights. His punches stray to the back of his opponents’ head every now and them. It doesn’t look like he does it on purpose, but it’s still dangerous for his opponents to be hit in that area. The referee will need to make sure that he keeps an eye on that kind of thing on Saturday. We don’t want to see the 32-year-old Briedis hurt by one of those illegal punches.
The winner of the Huck-Briedis fight will be in the position to take on the other cruiserweight champions Denis Lebedev, Beibut Shumenov and Oleksandr Usyk. Huck had previously been the World Boxing Organization cruiserweight champion from 2009 to 2012. He defended the title successfully against a number of high quality fighters like Lebedev, Ola Afolabi, Hugo Hernan Garay, and Brian Minto. In February 2012, Huck lost a close 12 round majority decision to former WBA World heavyeight champion Alexander Povetkin in a fight that took place for his WBA title. Huck weighed in at 209 lbs. compared to the 229 lb. Povetkin, and he gave the Russian fighter all he could handle in that fight. Huck was the better puncher of the two, and landed the harder and cleaner shots. The thing that Povetkin had going for him was his high work rate. Povetkin never stopped throwing punches. He kind of wore Huck down with those shots, which were heavy but not the huge variety that we’ve seen from him in many of his fights.
Briedis has looked very good in the last three years of his boxing career beating Manuel Charr, Olanrewaju Durodola, Simon Vallily, Danie Venter, Emre Altintas, and Lazlo Hubet. Briedis’ 9th round TKO win over Durodola in 2016 was especially impressive because he’s faster than Huck, a better combination puncher, and just as powerful. Huck has better punch resistance, but he’s not as good as Durodola in his offense. Briedis was able to neutralize Durodola’s offense by boxing him, and blocking his shots in the early rounds. Briedis then took over the fight in the second half of the contest to score a knockout in the 9th round.
This fight on Saturday will show whether Briedis is for real or not. Briedis has a lot of boxing fans that are following him after the way he’s looked in his short pro career. They believe he’s more than capable of beating Huck. They only thing they wonder about Briedis is how well he’ll do it. Briedis might need to take the judges out of the fight by getting a knockout. Huck is fighting a home in Germany, and that could mean that if the fight is close, he could get the victory. Getting decisions sometimes isn’t easy for visiting fighters. Huck’s heavy hands makes it difficult to sore rounds, because he can out-punched by an opponent but still given rounds based on him landing a small handful of solid shots.
Huck has the experience advantage over Briedis. That could be the telling factor in the fight if Briedis isn’t able to adapt to what Huck is doing inside the ring.