The opener saw a jab from Marco Huck push back the champion's head. The challenger held a tight high guard while Alexander Povetkin took centre ring. The pair exchanged blows while the referee tried to separate them. A swinging right hand from Huck missed the target. Povetkin landed some solid looking body shots and took the round.
Marco Huck landed the jab at the start of the second. The German based Serb darted back out of distance when the Russian threw the jab. Povetkin threw a variation of classy shots – jabs and hooks to the body. Alexander Povetkin landed the right hand, then more body shots. The champion landed more scoring punches, worked off a higher rate and a smear of blood from the mouth of Marco Huck signalled another Alexander Povetkin round. At the end of the round the camera cut to ringside where Dereck 'Del Boy' Chisora looked on from behind his Union Flag face mask, the German authorities seemingly happy to allow the brawling Brit back in to the country.
The third opened with a hook and uppercut from Alexander Povetkin. Huck threw big rights which didn't land. Povetkin landed a solid right, followed by another. Left hands to the body of Huck followed from Povetkin. Combinations from the champion. Marco Huck landed the jab but didn't do enough to win the round as Arthur Abraham looked on from ringside.
The fourth round had the men exchange jabs. Huck's shots appeared to bounce off the champion who was carrying more weight. A big attack from Marco Huck with clubbing hooks and right hands caught the eye. Alexander Povetkin appeared momentarily to be in trouble from a big right hand as Huck threw wildly. Povetkin answered with body shots. Referee Luis Pabon warned Huck for hitting round the back of the head, caused by Alexander Povetkin ducking beneath the clubbing right hands thrown by Huck, who convincingly took the round.
The fifth saw Povetkin land combinations, mainly onto the gloves of Huck. The round entered a quiet phase as the combatants appeared to take a breather from their efforts in the fourth. More combinations came from the champion. A big right hand from Marco Huck jolted back the Russian's head. Huck followed up with the jab. The referee was now too busy, unnecessarily breaking up the fighting in close. The pair traded shots after bell as Povetkin appeared to edge the round.
Alexander Povetkin had the best of the first minute of the sixth, landing scoring jabs and body shots. Huck looked untidy as he fended off the champion. Povetkin again ducked down low to avoid the big right hand from Huck. The Russian forced Huck back with a combination. Huck landed the right hand in response. A jab from Huck jolted Alexander Povetkin's head back. Huck missed with uppercut but Povetkin landed it, then followed it up with body shots. Huck again punched down towards the back of the champions head. Povetkin landed a big right on bell and took the round.
The second half of the fight began with a big right hand off the jab from Povetkin. The pair traded in close. Huck threw a big, dangerous right hand before the referee again jumped in to separate the men to the frustration of the crowd. Alexander Povetkin landed scoring shots in close. Yet again Povetkin ducked low to evade the chopping, clubbing right hands of Marco Huck. The pair traded uppercuts before Huck seized the initiative and landed a succession of six or seven clubbing right hands. The champion looked rattled, troubled and gasped for air. Huck finished on the offensive and took the round.
The eighth saw the pair each landing effective jabs. Alexander Povetkin followed up with a big uppercut. Huck went after Povetkin, throwing wild shots. Huck appeared to go in with the head. Marco Huck landed the jab and pressurised the champion who was blowing heavily. The challenger then landed the jab. The pair looked untidy and scrappy as the round drew to a close and traded at the bell in a difficult round to score.
The ninth round opened quietly before combinations landed from Povetkin. The right hand came back from Marco Huck. A jab and a huge right hand from Huck who pushed Povetkin back onto the ropes. Huck landed an explosive right. Alexander Povetkin answered with a combination. Right hands followed in close from Huck, then the uppercut, then the jab. Huck wildly pursued the champion and the referee separated the men at end.
The tenth opened with heavy hooks to the body of Huck, followed by hooks to the head. Huck landed a big hook to the head of the champion in close. The men exchanged jabs. The uppercut landed from Huck. Jabs landed in response from Povetkin. The referee broke them up in close. Povetkin landed the jab, hokks and combination from centre-ring to take the round.
The penultimate round saw jabs and combinations from Povetkin. The classier work was now clearly coming from the champion. Povetkin was then momentarily caught off balance and staggered back. A right hand landed from Huck who was by now looking marked-up. Huck run after Povetkin, the pair throwing shots wildly. The men traded shots at and maybe after the bell, Marco Huck now cut by the right eye and looking very tired.
The final round started with Marco Huck surely needing a stoppage to claim the title in a close but entralling contest. Povetkin went on the attack throwing jabs and hooks. Huck landed the jab. The action was untidy in close and Huck was forced back. Huck fought back throwing right hands. Huck landed a huge right hand and the champions legs appeared to sag. Povetkin answered with a tired looking combination.
Huck landed short powerful jabs, and a big right. Povetkin looked out on his feet. Again a huge right hand landed on the champion. And again! And again! A clubbing left landed on the bell and Marco Huck took the final, sensational round as the champion teetered and battled to stay upright.
The judges returned a 114-114 , 116-113, 116-112 majority decision in favour of the champion. Marco Huck now 34-2 (25) showed tonight he can play with the big boys and had the fight lasted another three minutes he may well have claimed the WBA World Heavyweight title. But Alexander Povetkin now 24-0 (16) retained his title, his unbeaten record and his negotiating position with the Klitschko's. But perhaps more importantly, after the shameful events in Munich last weekend, the Heavyweight division can hold its head high again.