On Saturday night, WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck outpointed Mirko Larghetti on his way to a unanimous-decision victory in his adopted home of Germany. The win tied Johnny Nelson's record for most consecutive defenses of the title at 13.
Per BoxRec.com, Huck was the victor on all three scorecards, 118-110, 116-112, 116-112.
At the very end of the bout, Huck landed a hard right hand that put Larghetti on the mat. The Italian seemed to be out, but the shot was ruled to have come after the bell, and the fight instead went to the cards. It's possible that officials could have looked to penalize Huck for what was obviously ruled to be a late punch, but no penalty was given.
Early on in the action, Huck's activity and punching accuracy gave Larghetti issues. The champion came out looking to make a statement, and he easily captured the first three rounds.
From the fourth round on, Larghetti made adjustments that at the very least made the bout competitive. The challenger showed himself to be more than a tomato can placed in front of the champion for the sole purpose of playing his role in Huck's record-tying victory.
Seeing Huck as the winner wasn't preposterous, but the 118-110 scorecard was puzzling. It seems as if the champion may have been given the benefit of the doubt on the cards—and some home cooking—after a strong start.
Proof that Huck didn't believe his lead was as secure as it was lies in the fact that he continued to attack late in the fight and pursued the finish in the final round.
Often criticized for his unwillingness to travel outside of Germany to fight, Huck didn't gain much respect with this win. In fact, Nelson, who now works for Sky Sports in the U.K., wasn't exactly complimentary of the man who just tied his record.
The insular world of WBO champion Marco Huck... I was dreaming. He'll never fight me... @TonyBellew he's all yours.— Johnny Nelson (@SkyJohnnyNelson) August 30, 2014
This sentiment matches the tone of comments Nelson made prior to the fight. Per British Boxers, the 47-year-old who hasn't fought since 2005 says he could beat Huck with six months of training.
Part of that claim is rooted in boxers' seemingly eternal competitiveness and attachments to their accomplishments, but there's also some validity to it.
Huck hasn't fought outside of Germany in seven years, and he's never competed in the United States. That would explain why he's one of the lesser-known champions in the sport.
Still, his run of wins is impressive despite the competition. If he does take on Tony Bellew in his next bout, it could be an entertaining scrap. Bellew has been in the ring with some of the best light heavyweights in the world. He recently made the jump to cruiserweight where he might have a better shot at winning a world championship.
As for Larghetti, he made a good account of himself and could possibly do even better in a rematch. Unfortunately for him, he has as much of a chance at that as we do of seeing Huck fight anywhere but Germany.
Follow Brian Mazique, aka FranchisePlay, the Sports Video Game Journalist.