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Huck vs Lebedev - Fightwriter review


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The fuss lingers over the scoring in the Jean Pascal-Bernard Hopkins fight, but, for me, the real controversy of the weekend was Marco Huck getting a split decision win over Denis Lebedev in their cruiserweight title fight in Berlin.

 

Judges from the Netherlands and Spain had Huck winning by scores of 115-113 while William Lerch of the U.S. saw Lebedev ahead, 116-112.

 

I was able to watch the fight live, and I had it 115-113 in favour of Lebedev. The commentary wasn’t in English, but I gather that the commentators for German TV described the decision as “an early Christmas present” for Huck.

 

Lebedev forced the fight and was very effective with left-hand drives to the body from his southpaw posture in the early rounds. Often, it appeared to me, Lebedev was backing up Huck, outfighting and outscoring him.

 

I took a position on Lebedev, and when I do this I follow the “Mickey Duff” rule whereby, if I am in real doubt about who won a round, I will give it to the other man (in this case Huck). There were three rounds in the Berlin bout that I found very hard to score: Lebedev was busier, but Huck landed at least one big, eye-catching right hand in these rounds. I gave two of these tight rounds to Huck, one to Lebedev. So, even by following the great Mickey Duff’s conservative scoring policy, I still had Lebedev winning.

 

Still, I won’t use the R word — as in robbery. Huck launched some of the big onslaughts we have come to expect from him, and he looked dominant when he was winging his big punches, even though not all were landing.

What won the fight for the German boxer (by way of the old Yugoslavia), though, was his right hand: Huck sent Lebedev’s head rocking back with right hands in several rounds.

 

A judge can be swayed by vivid blows such as the ones landed by Huck — especially, as was the case in Berlin, when the punches are accompanied by roars of approval from the crowd. It seemed that Lebedev was the more consistent fighter in most of the 12 rounds, but Huck’s right hands were getting the German boxer into the fight.

 

However, it wasn’t as if Huck was buckling Lebedev with the right hands. The Russian boxer takes a very good punch.

 

Lebedev seemed to have Huck under severe pressure in several rounds and was clearly hurting him to the body — it was later disclosed that Huck suffered a cracked rib early in the fight. However, it seemed that Lebedev was discouraged from going to the body after getting his second severe caution of the bout for going low with the left hand, in the eighth round — the first of these warnings from referee Eddie Cotton came when it looked as if Lebedev’s left hand had landed on the beltline.

 

Informed in no uncertain manner that another shot deemed to be low would cost him a point, Lebedev seemed to be refraining from attacking Huck downstairs in the last four rounds.

 

Huck, however, showed heart, as ever, fighting through pain to make rounds close enough for debate. One thing Huck backers can rely on is their man’s toughness and desire for victory; he is a fighter who won’t give up.

 

I have to hand it to the German crowd, too. They stayed with their fighter, chanting “Huck, Huck!” and getting right behind him whenever he rallied, whereas the Quebec City crowd seemed to give up on Pascal when their boxer started to drift out of the fight.

 

Huck’s experience of being in 12-round fights helped him in Saturday’s contest. He finished strongly, moving and scoring, and he couldn’t seem to miss Lebedev with the right hand in the 12th. It seemed to me that Lebedev lost his concentration with the finishing post in sight. After boxing well for 11 tense rounds, Lebedev just didn’t seem to have it in him to make a big closing drive. Huck’s strong 12th round enabled the champion to keep his title.

 

Huck had the body language of a winner at the end — raising his arms aloft, jumping up on the ropes to acknowledge his supporters. Lebedev, an undemonstrative type of man, just walked to his corner wearing a “Well, now it’s up to the judges,” type of expression.

 

This was similar to the way the Pascal-Hopkins fight ended. Hopkins was acting like a man who knew he had won, whereas Pascal looked hangdog, as if he felt he should have done better.

 

Back to Lebedev, though: I viewed him as unlucky not to have won — unluckier than Hopkins, who at least came away with a draw. I did make the mental note after the 11th round of the Lebedev bout, however, that the Russian fighter needed to win the 12th round to make sure of a positive result on the scorecards. He didn’t, unfortunately, close out the fight in the manner expected of a hungry challenger — although even if Lebedev had won the 12th he would only have been rewarded with a majority draw.

 

I know fighters are only human, but I like a boxer to fight with authority and belief in himself in every round, even if it’s a losing round. Pascal seemed to be plagued with self-doubt from round four onwards in Quebec City, and Lebedev appeared to cave in a little bit mentally in the last round in Berlin.

 

Hopkins’s camp made all the commotion, but, for me, Lebedev was the fighter who had the greater reason to feel cruelly treated on the scorecards this past weekend.

http://www.fightwriter.com/real-controversy-marco-huck-w12-split-denis-lebedev

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Nice review.

You summed it up perfectly for me!

I also agree that Lebedev won the fight, but there were many close rounds that could have just been awarded to the hometown fighter, and while the rounds Lebedev clocked up were largely pretty clearcut, and though Huck's attacks were obvious and from the exacgt same punch for the duration of the bout, he still found some success with the overhand right - enough to fool some observers into thinking he deserved the win, when in my opinion he clearly didn't.

Huck is vastly over-rated imo, and only seems to have one punch in his arsenal.

He's fast and strong, but needs to mix up his punches. Lebedev should have managed to avoid more than he did, because I could see exactly what Huck was going to throw before he did.

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I don't recall Graham Houstan ever using the term robbery to describe a really bad decision.Not every round was decisive,but Lebedev was doing far more to earn them than Huck was.

 

 

 

I had Lebedev winning by a near shut-out.As brawler said,Huck did land the right when he threw it,but it was never more than three a round.Huck was still outworked and outpunched through each round.

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