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Usyk Vs Huck: WBSS Quarter Final 1 Breakdown

by Steve Fearon

World Boxing Super Series
Cruiserweight Matchups, QF1 - Oleksandr Usyk v Marco Huck

Oleksandr Usyk is a name we heard shouted a lot over the last 6 months, with this rise through the professional ranks being an injection of excitement into what was already a very competitive division.

Only 12 fights in, and the unbeaten southpaw has already built a formidable reputation, with an impressive amateur career as its foundation.

Impressively, he has only ever faced opponents with a winning record, which is testament to the high standard at which he has entered the professional field, and the speed at which he is looking to progress.

Facing him in the first of the Cruiserweight Quarter Finals will be another familiar name in the form of Marco Huck, the very experienced and formidable Serbian of 45 professional fights, of which he has lost only 4.

In terms of professional experience, Huck is by far the most seasoned in the cruiserweight competition, with 45 fights to Usyk’s 12, but the huge amateur experience of Usyk will diminish that advantage somewhat.

Usyk’s Professional record is unblemished, and shows a fighter still in the ascendancy, whereas Huck’s 4 losses (2 by stoppage) suggest he has weaknesses to be exploited, and that have been highlighted to the world already, and that Usyk may already possess a blueprint for beating him.

In terms of their respective punching powers, Usyk has won by stoppage 80% of the time with Huck on a still respectable 68%. This indicates a significant difference in terms of their dangerousness, though it also signals that both fighters are a threat when letting their hands go.

Can power be mitigated by the quality of opposition that their records hold? In that if one was knocking out guys with a lower win ratio, his power may not be all it appears to be. Well let's see. When examining the win % of the two men's opponents at the times of the fights, Usyk still comes out on top, with his opponents averaging an 81% win ratio though Huck is not far behind with a 71% opposition win ration. 

This tells us that both these fighters take on challenging opponents on a regular basis, and that neither has shirked the opportunity to test themselves. But married with the KO % gives Usyk another clear edge.

In terms of their momentum coming into this fight, Huck is coming into this fight with a 5 fight record of WLWWL, which is perhaps significant, indicating a fall in his capabilities perhaps, though it includes fights against Briedis and Glowacki, so should be respected as being top tier competition.

Usyk is coming in off the back of WWWWW, including 3 stoppages, so could be argued to be the in-form fighter, though his KO ratio has dropped in this period.

In terms of where all this leaves me in terms of my pick for this fight, I think I have to side with Usyk.

My measures come up with a sort of 60/40 ratio in Usyk’s favour, as despite Huck’s hardiness and tremendous competitive spirit, I feel there are signs in his record that he is starting to decline, and whilst he can still compete at the top level, I believe Usyk is probably the stronger fighter in terms of his development, his momentum, and his condition at this time.

I suspect Usyk will dominate this fight, with crisper work, and win a clear UD, but I really wouldn’t be surprised to see him get the stoppage if Huck doesn’t bring his best.

Posted: 20th Jul 2017

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