Marco Huck vs Ola Afolabi Preview February 27th
Marco Huck of Serbia and Ola Afolabi of Britain will be meeting in the ring for the fourth time when they square off against each at the Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle Westfalen, Germany on Saturday, February 27th. Huck is undefeated against Afolabi so far with a pair of wins and a draw and this fight is for Afolabi’s IBO world title. All of their previous bouts were action packed and exciting and fans are hoping for more of the same this time around. Huck won their first meeting in 2009 by unanimous decision and they fought to a majority draw in their 2012 rematch. Huck then earned a majority decision in their third meeting in June of 2013. Fans in the UK can catch the bout live on BoxNation.
Huck vs Ofolabi Betting Odds
Here are the betting odds from online sportsbook BetOnline.ag (full review here).
- Ola Afolabi +175
- Sergey Kovalev -205
Huck was knocked out in the 11th round by Krzysztof Glowacki of Poland in one of 2015’s most dramatic bouts last August in Newark, New Jersey and is hoping to get back on track with a win here. However, he’s picked a tough opponent to do it against. Huck’s loss in August was his first fight in America and it could be his last even though he thrilled the fans with his hard-hitting performance. At the time, he was attempting to set a cruiserweight record of 14 successful title defences, but lost his WBO crown. He’s still tied with Johnny Nelson of England at 13 defences and will have to be satisfied with that.
The 31-year-old Huck was born in Serbia, but fights out of Germany. He enters the ring with a record of 38-3-1 along with 26 Kos. The 35-year-old Afolabi has a mark of 22-4-4 with 11 Kos to his name. He fought in April when he was beaten by Victor Emilio Ramirez in Argentina by unanimous decision in a contest for the interim cruiserweight title. However, he rebounded with a win in Russia in November when he stopped 2008 Olympic Heavyweight Champion Rakhim Chakhkiev in the fifth round for the IBO title.
Huck, who has fought 304 rounds since turning pro in 2004, has also been beaten by Alexander Povetkin of Russia by majority decision in 2012 in and by TKO to American Steve Cunningham in 2007. Huck has good hand speed and an excellent jab, but his greatest asset could be his amazing chin even though he’s been stopped twice. He’s not the most fluid and flexible boxer around and Afolabi exposed this in their previous meetings. Huck is most effective when he fights on the inside and uses his aggression. He’s a heavy hitter and has a knockout ratio of 62 per cent.
Afolabi has better boxing skills, moves around the ring with ease and has pretty fast hands. He’s not really a powerful puncher and has a knockout ratio of just 37 per cent. He shouldn’t be underestimated in that department though as he’s got a decent right hand. He turned pro in 2002 and has 190 rounds to his name. Afolabi has shown that he’s a good boxer, but he just can’t get over the hump when it comes to beating Huck. He built up a big lead in their second fight, but Huck came back strong in the second half of the bout to earn the draw.
It’s obvious Afolabi needs to do something different to pull out a win over Huck, but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to stop him. The champion’s going to have to rely on his boxing skills and will need to make sure he doesn’t take his foot of the gas at all and allow Huck back into the fight if he gets a lead.
Huck knows how tough his opponent can be and will need to make sure he’s focused, which could be a bit hard after getting knocked out in his last fight. Huck isn’t what you’d call a refined boxer, but he doesn’t pretend to be. He usually outworks and outlands his opponents and that’s why he’s been so successful so far in his career. He’s physically and mentally strong and that has come in handy against Afolabi in their first three fights. Huck will have the home advantage once again and some fans feel he received the benefit of the doubt when it came to the scorecards in the first three bouts with Afolabi and that could happen again unless the champion clearly outboxes him. Look for Huck to assert himself more this time around and take another unanimous decision or stop Afolabi in the late rounds.
This is another fight which is close enough to take a chance on the underdog Afolabi.
Play: Huck -205 @ BetOnline.ag
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Marco Huck betting • Ola Afolabi betting