Saturday, 5th May, 2012
In a thrilling cruiserweight contest in Messehalle, Germany, Brit Ola Afolabi put in brave display to earn a hard fought draw with WBO boss Marco Huck. The fight which seemed to have slipped under the radar of most mainstream fans in light of the Cotto/Mayweather bout later tonight, lived up to expectations, as the rematch exploded into action during the latter rounds.
Afolabi started the fight well throwing a hard and snappy jab which won him the opening round in my eyes. Huck was pretty much inactive for the majority of the first session, but livened up to a degree in the second. The Serbian did land a big right in the second but Ola was throwing intelligent punches, landing the overhand right with crisp jabs. The Serbian did hit the canvas at the end of this session but it was not ruled a knockdown, although at the time it did appear a right had landed.
Huck launched his first big attack in the third round, but I gave it to Afolabi as he was throwing the classier punches, working a bloodied Huck well to the body then upstairs. The Brit had his best round in the fourth as he started to double up on the jab, and landed two big rights behind Hucks guard, at which point the champion looked to be all at sea. The fifth was hard to score, with Afolabi starting brightly landing stinging rights to the midsection and head. Huck finished the round strongly, but I gave it to the challenger.
The Huck revival began in the sixth with a huge right uppercut that rocked the Briton. The Serbian started to find his range and was landing big rights through to the seventh where he was starting to look very strong. The challenger was looking tired, and decided to trade instead of staying loyal to the boxing skills which had served him well for the first four session. Huck was cut on the left eye at the end of the seventh, but it was ruled an accidental headbutt.
I had given the 6th and 7th to Huck, as well as the 8th where he was starting to double up on his hard left jab, as well as landing big clubbing right and left hooks to the head. Afolabi was being drawn into a slugfest, and it looked at this stage like the fight was slipping away from the Londoner. Huck launched a massive assault at the end of the ninth, a round which Afolabi started well in but was ultimately shipping too many big rights. The Brit was lucky to survive this round as the bell rung.
Just as the fight looked to be heading clearly in Huck’s favour, the challenger woke up in the tenth and started to land crisp and clean jabs and straight rights. Huck finished the round strongly, but I gave this round to Afolabi due to him throwing the more educated and cleaner punches. He continued the trend into the championship rounds as he resorted back to his boxing skills, becoming elusive to the big right which had won most of the middle rounds for WBO champion fighting out of Germany.
I did have Afolabi ahead going into the twelfth, but a fair few of the latter rounds were hard to score. In a thrilling end to the contest, Afolabi displayed a seriously great chin as both men went to war, with the final 90 second being some of the most entertaining boxing you will see all year. The Brit was practically out on his feet as Huck launched a blistering final attack, probably earning him the fight. Surprisingly, cards of 114-114 twice were read out, as well as 115-113 to the champion. A majority draw was a very fair result, but I personally did have Afolabi up by one round. The Germany based Serbians record is now 34(25)-2-1, and the Britons to 19(9)-2-4. A third fight will be greatly welcomed.