This Saturday in Germany, at Cruiserweight limit, a crossroads fight between former world champion Marco Huck, 40-3-1, 27 KOs, and up and coming power punching contender Mairis Briedis, 21-0, 18 KOs, will go down at the Westfalenhalle. It is a fight with a lot on the line for both men. Besides the vacant alphabet world title at stake (WBC variety recently held by Tony Bellew), this fight represents the chance to prove that they are among the top Cruiserweights in the world.
For Marco Huck, who once held this status of elite Cruiserweight, it is the chance to prove the critics, who say he might be slipping or over the hill, wrong. From 2009 to 2015 Huck defended his world title 13 times (A tied record with Johnny Nelson), before losing to Krzysztof Glowacki. Huck has rebounded with two nice wins over Ola Afolabi and Dmytro Kucher since then, as he heads into the showdown with Briedis. Still critics point to the loss to Glowacki and think at 32 years of age, and having been in a lot of in ring wars, that Huck is on the downside of his career.
Surprisingly Mairis Briedis is also 32, just a couple of months younger than Huck. Briedis is looked at as not having the same mileage on the odometer so to speak, as Huck does. This fight it is a chance to prove legitimacy for Briedis. It is a chance to beat an opponent with high credibility, and a chance to pick up an alphabet world title, and begin his own world championship reign. Briedis first came to notice on the world stage by knocking out former heavyweight world title challenger Manuel Charr. Charr fought Vitali Klitschko in 2012, losing the fight on cuts. Briedis was able to impressively knock Charr out, despite being outweighed by over 30 pounds. He followed that win up with 4 more knockout wins since then, one over dangerous cruiserweight contender Olanrewaju Durodola.
So as can be seen this fight represents a lot to these fighters, a shot at redemption, a shot at legitimacy, and chance to gain one of the 4 major alphabet world titles. The winner will join the other major alphabet world title holders including WBO world titlist Oleksandr Usyk, 11-0, 10 KOs, IBF world titlist Murat Gassiev, 24-0, 17 KOs, and WBA world titlist Denis Lebedev, 29-3-1, 22 KOs (whose WBA title was not on the line Vs Gassiev). There is no clear lineal world champion at Cruiserweight at the moment, so it will be interesting to see if the winner of Huck and Briedis will pursue world title unifications with the other world tilists.
As for the fight itself, it is expected to be a good on in terms of action, possibly even a fight of the year candidate. Huck is hardly ever in a dull fight and brings a wealth of experience and Briedis brings power and a hunger to become a world champion. As previously mentioned, while being close to the same age, Huck has been in a lot more rings wars than Briedis has. Will he have enough at this stage of his career to hold off the challenge from an apparently fresher and more powerful fighter? Will experience prevail this time, or will hunger? We will find out this Saturday.
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