Boxing Preview – Huck v Briedis

Marco Huck (40-3-1 27 KOs) and Mairis Briedis (21-0 18 KOs) will square off this weekend for Huck’s IBO World cruiserweight title and now also Tony Bellew’s WBC World cruiserweight strap at Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany.

The WBC belt on the line was originally intended to be the interim version to set up a showdown with the Liverpudlian champion but he has since been made the Emeritus Champion by the WBC due to his ongoing heavyweight campaign, so he can return to contest the winner if he chooses to.

It’s WBC#1 (Briedis) v WBC#2 (Huck) so it doesn’t get much closer than that!

The 32-year-old German gets the home advantage, which we all know can swing fights to the native in Germany.

Huck won his first 10 fights by knockout and was unbeaten going into his 20th fight against Steve Cunningham – one of only two men to floor undisputed heavyweight champ Tyson Fury – for the IBF World title in December 2007.

He rebuilt after the loss with 15 straight wins, collecting the IBF Inter-Continental, European and WBO World cruiserweight titles and dominated the 200lbs division from 2009 to 2015, making a division-record tying 13 defenses before the big upset against Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki (24-0) in August 2015, getting knocked out in the 11th round.

Huck again bounced back immediately to relieve rival Ola Afolabi (22-4-4) of his IBO World title in what was their fourth meeting in February last year. It was the most conclusive of all their fights, Huck retired his old foe in the 10th round; the previous trio of encounters had ended on points – two decisions to Huck and one stalemate.

He also recorded a points win against Dmytro Kucher (24-1-1) in a defence of his new IBO belt last November but didn’t look at his best despite the unanimous decision.

Big-punching Latvian Briedis, 32, is coming into the contest off the back of a third-round knockout of Commonwealth Games gold medallist Simon Vallily (9-1) in October last year.

He knocked out World heavyweight title contender Manuel Charr (28-3) in the fifth round in August 2015 despite being over 2stone lighter than his victim, needing just one round more than Vitali Klitschko did in their meeting in 2012.

I don’t see this fight going to the cards, if I’m honest. If Huck fights like he usually does, he’s likely to charge head first into one of Briedis’ powerful, fight-ending shots.

Briedis is a good fighter that would have given Huck nightmares even in the prime of his career and I have a feeling that the German’s 12-year-long professional career has finally caught up with him.

Huck could win if this fight somehow goes to the scorecards, but I actually believe that Breidis wins by knockout because he is the better fighter and more powerful.

My prediction is Breidis to win by KO in the fifth round.

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