Alexander Povetkin improved to 24-0 and retained his WBA heavyweight title with a points decision over Marco Huck. (Thomas Kienzle/Getty Images)
STUTTGART, Germany -- Three thoughts on Alexander Povetkin's decision win over Marco Huck.
I got hit with a shoe. The pro-Huck crowd wasn't happy with the decision and I was an unintentional victim of one perturbed fan's frustration. Still, while judge Stanley Christodoulou's 116-112 card was a bit wide, the right guy won the fight. Povetkin was in control early, and Huck blew multiple opportunities to put Povetkin away. As Povetkin faded, Huck got stronger but the cruiserweight champion just couldn't land enough punches to finish Povetkin off. Povetkin's punches didn't do much damage in the later rounds but he was still throwing, still active, while Huck ignored his corner's pleas to fire more uppercuts at Povetkin's exposed chin.
Paging, Teddy Atlas. Povetkin looked gassed from the fourth round on and you have to wonder whether being without Atlas, who split with Povetkin after Povetkin refused to train in the U.S. for this fight, had something to do with it. Povetkin's new trainer, Alexander Zimin, is accomplished but there is no question Povetkin's conditioning was subpar. Povetkin could not explain his sluggishness, telling me in the ring his training and sparring had been perfect. One of Atlas's strengths is motivation, which might be something Povetkin needs more than he thought. Reconciliation may be impossible-in interviews, Atlas said he felt betrayed by Povetkin-but Povetkin's promoter, Sauerland Event, might want to think about trying hard to get him back.
Marco Huck is a heavyweight.
Klitschkos aside -- no one is beating them, anyway -- Huck has the talent to compete with any heavyweight. Huck carried the same aggressive, straight ahead style up from cruiserweight and had Povetkin wobbled on several occasions; when the bell sounded for the 12th round, Povetkin was twisting like a tree in the wind in his corner. A rematch would mean big business in Germany -- Huck said he wants one, Povetkin is open to it -- and there is no reason to think it wouldn't be just as competitive. Or entertaining. Huck can always go back to the 200-pound weight class and defend his title, but heavyweight is where the money is, so expect Huck to stay put.