The World Boxing Super Series has taken off in exciting fashion with Oleksandr Usyk stopping Marco Huck in the 10th round by TKO. The crowd was abuzz with Usyk chants as “The Cat” dominated Huck on his home turf. Despite a gutsy performance, Huck was overwhelmed by the sheer output of Usyk. The victory marked Usyk’s third defence of the WBO cruiserweight title and has sent him into the semi-finals to face the winner of Mairis Briedis vs Mike Perez.
The early rounds
Usyk overwhelmed Huck to defend his title in Berlin
The speed difference was clear from the very beginning as Usyk danced around a flat-footed Huck. Using his reach, the Ukrainian controlled the action from the outside, landing the long punches and preventing Huck from creating any meaningful offence. Every time Huck managed to get inside, Usyk was already miles away.
Usyk had a very energy efficient gameplan, staying low-volume right up until the final minute of the round. That’s when “The Cat” would kick it into high gear, peppering the German with his rapid fire combos. Usyk’s confidence grew and, by the fifth round, was looking like his countryman Vasyl Lomachenko. His hands were down and his feet were fast, leaving Huck swinging at air.
The late rounds
Usyk’s conditioning showed in the seventh round, still flat-footed and bouncing inches above the canvas. He had stuck to his gameplan for the better part of the fight but was beginning to put more punches together. The eighth round saw him land two devastating left hooks, staggering Huck into the corner. He continued to pour it on but slipped in the scuffle, prompting referee Robert Byrd to reset the pair. Huck was also deducted a point for multiple but unintentional shots below the belt. Usyk was landing at will during the 10th round. Facing a relentless assault, Huck had almost no chance to hit back, completely smothered by Usyk’s combinations. As he continued to batter Huck, the referee stepped in and waved off the fight, granting Usyk the victory.
The next round
Both men showed excellent sportsmanship at the end, posing for a picture together with Usyk wearing a wide grin. With that victory, the WBO champion has every reason to smile as it has put him in a very interesting position. Usyk now has the chance to unite the WBO and WBC cruiserweight belts.
The most talked about matchup for the WBSS has been the potential meeting of Usyk and Briedis. Both men are undefeated in their professional careers and have 28 knockout victories between them. It could prove to be the best fight of the tournament. Briedis will first have to get through Cuba’s Perez, a fight that will take place at the end of the month. For now, Usyk can enjoy his well-earned victory. He has definitely made a statement with this performance and staked his claim on the global cruiserweight scene.
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