The 27 year old 'Käpt'n' Huck 34-1 (25), current holder of the WBO World Cruiserweight title has amassed an impressive 71 KO percentage at Cruiserweight since his pro debut in 2004, a 2007 TKO loss to American Steve Cunningham the only blot on his otherwise perfect record. Marco Huck tipped the scales at 209 lbs at Friday's weigh-in, giving away 20 lbs to the champion.
The fight has all the ingredients to be a cracker. Marco Huck will command vociferous (as vociferous as boxing crowds get in Germany) support from fans in his adopted homeland (originally from Sebia, Huck now lives in Berlin) and is sure to retain his crowd-pleasing, aggressive, go-forwards style. Marco Huck looks to be in better shape than the champion and whilst significantly disadvantaged in weight, is not so in height (Huck stands at 6' 1.5" to Povetkin's 6' 2"). Povetkin also has a relatively short reach for a heavyweight. The champion however will enjoy the natural weight advantage and will look to wear Huck down with heavy, clubbing right hands.
The two men have shared a ring before in sparring, and Huck's confidence ahead of the fight suggests he held his own with the Russian.
"I´m ready to become heavyweight champion," Huck said ahead of the fight. "I would not have taken the fight if I didn´t believe in myself. Povetkin is good, but I can beat him. We once did sparring together and he has bad memories of me. On Saturday I will be the new champ. He is going down!"
For 32 year old Alexander Povetkin 23-0 (16), the fight represents a calculated risk, but a risk nonetheless. The Russian has disposed of 'Fast' Eddie Chambers, Jason Estrada, Ruslan Chagaev and Cedric Boswell on his way to claiming the position of most highly ranked Heavyweight in the world whose name is not Klitschko. A fight with Wladimir Klitschko has twice fallen apart and Povetkin needs a high profile victory to retain momentum and retain the possibility of finally meeting one of the brothers, most likely Wladimir.
Marco Huck is a big name in Germany of course, and a victory for Povetkin would help sell a future Klitschko fight. But should Povetkin lose the fight, his value and leverage would suffer significant damage. Alexander Povetkin's preperation has been soured by an acrimonious contractual dispute with trainer Teddy Atlas, who not only relinquished his role as trainer but was recently quoted as saying he will not be tuning in to watch his former pupil fight.
Povetkin by late stoppage seems to be the prediction of choice but Marco Huck can use his natural speed and power to make this an uncomfortable night for the champion and an exciting night for the fans. Huck can win the early rounds on work rate, speed and punch accuracy but Povetkin's natural power can surely end the fight at any point.
Can Povetkin take Huck's speed?
Can Huck take Povetkin's power?
Expect action, expect bombs and maybe, expect the unexpected.