Oleksandr Usyk vs. Marco Huck – Results
By Jim Dower: WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) successfully defended his title in stopping former cruiserweight champion Marco Huck (40-5-1, 27 KOs) in the 10th round on Saturday night in the quarter finals of the World Boxing Super Series at the Max Schmeling Halle, in Berlin, Germany.
Usyk, 30, was hammering Huck at will with shots in round 10 at the time the fight was stopped by referee Robert Byrd. Huck was taking withering fire from the 6’3” Usyk, leaving the referee no other choice but to halt the fight. The official time of the stoppage was at 2:18 if round 10. Usyk came out on fire at the start of round 10. In the previous rounds, Usyk had mostly been fighting at a close pace, landing shots and doing a fair bit of clowning occasionally when he would get hit by a hard shot from Huck.
Usyk’s next fight in the World Boxing Super Series will be against the winner of the September 30th clash between WBC cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis (22-0, 18 KOs) and Mike Perez (22-2-1, 14 KOs). If Usyk is going to be beaten in the WBSS, it’s going to be against the winner of the Briedis vs. Perez fight. Briedis looks very hard to beat right now, even by Usyk. It’s going to take a different strategy for Usyk to beat Briedis, because he’s not going to be able to paw with his jab and throw single shots to beat a clever fighter like that. It’s going to take a war-like approach for Usyk to beat Brieidis, and I’m not sure if he can fight like that. Usyk was arguably beaten in the amateur ranks when he fought Artur Beterbiev, who attacked him all night long with big power shots. The scoring for amateur fights still has a long ways to go before it catches up with the scoring for the pro ranks. Beterbiev appeared to beat Usyk, but he ended up losing to him. If Briedis can fight like that against Usyk, he’ll likely beat him and eliminate him from the WBSS tournament.
Huck did his best to try and stay in the fight for the full 12 rounds, but he was taking too many shots at the end of the 9th and the start of the 10th. The referee had to step in to sop the stop the fight. Huck had swelling under both eyes by the end of the fight, and he looked well beaten and discouraged. Huck didn’t protest the stoppage. How could he? Usyk was hitting him with everything but the kitchens sink in the 10th, and he wasn’t going to stop. If the referee hadn’t stopped it when he did, Huck likely would have wound up on the canvas. He was unable to clinch Usyk to get him to stop throwing shots.
Usyk gave the 32-year-old Huck a boxing lesson tonight. It was too easy for Usyk. It wasn’t as good as the performance Mairis Briedis put in last April when he defeated Huck by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision. Briedis had Huck looking absolutely discouraged and not willing to throw any punches in the second of the fight. Huck wasn’t like that against Usyk. He was fighting hard until the bitter end, landing occasional big right hands and left hooks to the head of Usyk. The problem that Huck had was he wasn’t able to land often enough for him to hurt the Ukrainian Usyk. There was too much of a skill deficit for Huck. He didn’t have the boxing ability to adequately compete with the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk.
Huck had a 1 point deduction in round 8 after hitting Usyk after he had slipped and fallen down on the canvas. At that point in the fight, Huck looked desperate to try any tactic he could to get a stoppage win. In the case of the low blow, it looked like Huck was trying to get disqualified.
Rounds 1 and 2 were close, with Usyk bouncing around the ring in his southpaw stance, throwing jabs and darting away each time Huck would look to land his big power shots. Huck was able land some nice shots in both of those rounds to make them appear close. Mostly though, Usyk was holding his right arm far out in front of him and jabbing a lot and connecting with single left hands. Huck landed a couple of right hands during the clinches in round 2, but they weren’t powerful enough shots to hurt Usyk.
Late in round 3, Usyk nailed Huck with a 4-punch combination late in the round when he caught him against the ropes. Huck came back with a left hand rabbit punch to the back of Usyk’s head during a clinch. The referee Robert Byrd chose not to warn Huck for the foul. It’s doubtful that it would have made Huck reluctant to use this weapon again, as he was not going to change his fighting style. Huck wanted to win badly, and he was getting outclassed by Usyk. It was clear from watching the 2 fighters that Huck didn’t have nearly enough boxing skills for him to compete on an even playing field in this fight.
In round 4, Huck began to look fatigued, as he was missing with his shots and unable to catch up to Usyk when he would move around the ring. Usyk was landing shots, and then backing away to avoid Huck’s punches. Huck wanted to retaliate, but he couldn’t get to Usyk. Huck tried to rush Usyk on one occasion, and he was caught with a left hand while charging forward. The punch stopped Huck’s forward momentum, causing him to back off. Later in the round, Huck landed a nice right hand to the head of Usyk. The punch was a good one, but it didn’t have any effect on Usyk. He smiled at Huck to let him know he was fine.
In round 5, Huck tagged Usyk with a hard right hand to the head. Usyk then feigned like he was hurt, by shaking both of his legs and smiling at Huck. Not long after that, Huck hit Usyk with a low blow that the referee warned him about. By the end of the round, Usyk was peppering Huck with jabs and combinations to the head. Huck tried to tackle Usyk at one point to get him to stop throwing punches, but he missed badly and almost fell. Huck looked exhausted despite the fact that Usyk was throwing most of the punches.
In the 7th, Usyk caught Huck against the ropes and nailed him with 6 unanswered blows to the head before the German fighter got off the ropes. It seemed clear that Huck wasn’t going to be able to go too much longer, as he was exhausted and taking punishment. His face was swollen from all the shots he was eating from Usyk.
The win for Usyk keeps him in the World Boxing Super Series tournament. He’s the No.1 seed in the WBSS, and it’s going to be difficult for the other fighters to beat him. You’d have to say that Briedis has the best chance of beating the 6’3” Usyk, because he’s got amazing boxing skills and knockout power in either hand. Briedis is also very, very smart. He’s someone that figures out how to beat his opponents. Murat Gassiev also is someone that could give Usyk some problems if he’s able to land his big power shots. With Gassiev, he only needs to land one big shot to score a knockout. Usyk will need to be on his guard at all times against him if he makes it through his first quarter final fight of the WBSS against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk on October 21 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. It’s still too early to tell is Usyk can go all the way to win the WBSS. He’ll need to mix it up more against the better fighters in the WBSS for him to get the win. Just boxing, running around the ring, and showboating won’t be enough for Usyk to beat the better fighters in the tournament.