Povetkin vs Huck: Head to Head

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Joseph Herron Updated
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Today at the Porsche-Arena in Stuttgart, Germany, the WBO Cruiserweight Champion Marco Huck (34-1, 25 KOs) will move up to the heavyweight division and face the undefeated WBA Regular Heavyweight Champion Alexander Povetkin (23-0, 16 KOs).

Date, Time and Broadcast: Povetkin vs Huck will be shown live on EpixHD beginning on February 24th at 4PM EST and will be available via streaming webcast with a free trial, courtesy of EpixHD.com, to continue with their new tradition of great heavyweight featured special events.

Backdrop
Alexander Povetkin is making his third consecutive appearance on the network, but without the assistance of his former trainer Teddy Atlas. The Russian born fighter will feature his new Coach Alexander Zimin as his chief second after an extensive training camp in his hometown of Chekhov.

The title challenger is carrying a fifteen fight win streak into the championship bout and feels confident that he will be victorious in his first attempt at fighting in the heavyweight division.

Although Marco Huck weighed in at 209, compared to Povetkin's weight of 229, Huck welcomes the challenge and feels that weight will not be an issue in this fight.

The confident former cruiser has grown accustomed to fighting tall and looking down at his opposition, but will now be facing a natural heavyweight who will enter the ring standing 6'2" and will outweigh him by twenty pounds.

Can Marco Huck be successful in handing the former Olympic Gold Medalist his first professional loss?

Let's look at the "Tale of the Tape"!

Tale of the Tape

Alexander Povetkin (23-0, 16 KOs)
The 32 year old Gold medal winner has a very strong amateur pedigree which should serve him well in this championship contest. The Chekhov, Russian born heavyweight is 6'2" with better than average power in both hands. He has a reach of 75" and fights out of an orthodox stance.

He is limited in footwork but makes up for it with brilliant combination punching and intelligent pressure. Povetkin has shown a better than average beard, but has never really faced an opponent with world class power. He closes distance on opponents extremely well and has never shown a reluctance to let his hands go.

Povetkin has a very good jab and likes to hook off it with very quick precision. He has a habit of leaning away from punches instead of using his feet to effectively scurry away from danger, but did show much improvement against Chagaev and Boswell in this area.

He has deceptive upper body strength and owns a very impressive arsenal of punches, which he uses quite frequently throughout the entire fight: left hook, right hook, left uppercut, right uppercut, overhand right, straight jab, left and right hook to the body, and the powerful straight right hand.

Although no longer in his corner, master strategist Teddy Atlas worked with Povetkin on defensive strategies and upper body movement. The veteran trainer was able to cultivate better ring generalship and counterpunching tactics with an emphasis on footwork and fighting at angles.

In Alexander Povetkin's initial title defense against the overmatched Cedric Boswell, the Russian fighter was able to use his speed and footwork to dominate the American fighter, setting traps and hooking off of his quick jab to set up the straight right hand while keeping Boswell at a very safe distance.

Povetkin's biggest attribute is his ability to think in the ring. He is a very mentally strong fighter and deals with adversity extremely well. He is an undefeated fighter and hasn't lost since his days as an amateur. This will be a very big factor in the fight.

Marco Huck (34-1, 25 KOs)
The Serbian born fighter stands 6'1 ½" with an unlisted reach. The 27 year old former Cruiserweight Champion fights out of an orthodox stance and likes to work behind his touch jab while waiting for an opening to land his right hand bomb.

Huck is a very explosive fighter who depends on catching his opponents by surprise with a left hook or overhand right and following up with combinations while pushing his opponents backwards.

Marco Huck has a better than average chin and likes to fight tall, keeping his opponents at a safe distance with his jab and left hook. He doesn't like to counter his opponents very often and depends on getting his punches off first. The German resident will often cover up with a tight "peek-a-boo" style defense, but likes to back up when presented with a hard offensive attack. He absolutely cannot do this against a fighter like "Sasha" Povetkin.

Pictured: WBA Regular Champion Alexander Povetkin

Povetkin_vs._Chagaev_stills_48594
Marco's fight style is very similar to a taller and better conditioned Arthur Abraham. Huck will often fight flat footed and wait for an opponent to have a defensive lapse to strike with a quick right hand bomb.  Huck also likes to reach in with the jab and quickly move straight back into a safe position, while always looking to land his big right hands.

He has an impressive punch arsenal which works predominately behind a mixture of jabs or a straight right hand. Huck often throws hooks from odd angles and sometimes likes to throw uppercuts from a dangerous distance. He can fight on the inside but often gets into trouble when he does.

"Kapt'n" Huck can hook off the jab effectively at times and can set up his powerful right hand with a combination of different left hooks and uppercuts. The former Cruiser has massive power in his right hand and likes to let it go when an opponent is backing up.

Marco Huck is a very confident and mentally strong fighter, but will have to show much improved defense and an ability to fight at angles if he wants to be successful against Alexander Povetkin. His only loss was in 2007, when he was stopped in the final round of his first title opportunity against American Steve Cunningham.

Alexander Povetkin - Keys to Victory

To win this contest, Alexander Povetkin must fight intelligently and absolutely has to be decisive with his course of action. He cannot let Marco Huck keep him at a safe distance while he's trying to figure out a suitable game plan for his opponent. Povetkin must use his superior hand speed to get inside his opponent's reach and maul him when in close quarters.

To be successful, Povetkin must put on his hard hat and work, work, work. Marco Huck likes to cover up and stay in a defensive shell when presented with a consistent offensive attack. Sasha has to throw punches in combination and must let his faster hands go inside. The Russian born fighter cannot be overly occupied with Huck's sharp crisp jab. He must try to offset it with his own double or sometimes triple jab while moving his feet and upper body to try and get inside.

Alexander Povetkin must attack the body whenever Huck leans away from his punches and tries to utilize his "peek-a-boo" defensive style.  Marco Huck also has a very bad habit of pulling back his jab a little low. Povetkin must time and counter his opponent with a short, compact right hook on the inside and follow it up with a left hook, right uppercut between Huck's tight guard.

Povetkin must not get discouraged if he doesn't find success early and absolutely must not have any defensive lapses against a huge right hand puncher like Huck. He must keep a consistent body attack and absolutely cannot get careless and lunge in with his punches.

If Povetkin smothers his opponent and utilizes a very smart and busy work rate on the inside, he can wear down his opponent and possibly stop him in the mid to late rounds to retain his WBA Regular Heavyweight Championship.

Marco Huck - Keys to Victory

It is going to take a lot for Huck to lift the title off of the WBA Regular Champion. He will have to show much improvement in his footwork and defense.

To set up his entire punch arsenal, Huck will have to be forceful with his jab and not just use it as a range finder like he has in the past. Marco must double and triple the jab while hooking off of it occasionally to keep Povetkin off balance when he tries to time and counter the former Cruiserweight.

Huck absolutely cannot be lazy when bringing back his jab or straight right hand or he will get countered by Povetkin's superior hand speed. Marco has to show Povetkin some angles or it will be a very easy night for the champion. He must use his footwork in this fight to keep Alexander Povetkin off balance.

Pictured: Cruiserweight Champion Marco Huck

Alexander_Povetkin_vs._Marco_Huck__66701

He also cannot throw his right uppercut from his waist or he will get beaten to the punch and countered all night. Huck must use lateral movement while pumping the straight jab to set up his straight right hand bombs. If he stands flat-footed in this fight, he will get knocked out. When Povetkin gets inside, Marco Huck must not try to trade with Povetkin.  He absolutely must choose to tie his opponent up when in close quarters.

Conditioning is the primary key for victory with Marco Huck. If he has the conditioning to use the entire ring and box the Russian Champion from the outside, while keeping Sasha at a safe distance with his long stiff jab to set up his big right hands, he can win a unanimous decision victory and become the new WBA Regular Heavyweight Champion.

Povetkin vs Huck Prediction

Unless Marco Huck has greatly improved his footwork and lateral movement since his previous fight, I don't see how Huck will be able to keep Povetkin off of him for twelve rounds without getting knocked out.

Huck's only chance of winning this fight is if he catches Alexander Povetkin having one of his defensive lapses and lands a big right hand that cripples the Russian Champ.

But at this stage of Alexander's career, I just don't see that happening. Povetkin has the edge in almost every variable in this match-up and will utilize his advantages to stop Huck in the mid to late rounds to retain his WBA Regular Heavyweight Championship.

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