Marco Huck defeats Firat Arslan via ‘scam’; Lucian Bute beats Denis Grachev on points

4 Nov

Alan Dawson – London

Marco Huck may have made a tenth successful defence of his WBO cruiserweight world title by obtaining an official win over challenger and fellow German, Firat Arslan, on Saturday, November 3 in Halle, but the champion failed to win over the crowd who booed the decision. On the same night, Lucian Bute got back to winning ways by outpointing Denis Grachev in Montreal, Quebec.

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Huck warms up pre-fight. Credit: Gerry Weber World

At the Gerry Weber Stadium stadium in the Nordrhein-Westfalen state in Germany, Huck (35-2-1, 25ko) seemingly had no answer for Arslan’s left uppercut, which he continually landed with aplomb for the majority of the early and middle rounds. In retaliation, Huck’s cannonry mostly cushioned off of Firat’s guard.

It was only until the latter stages in the argument where defending champ Huck – 15 years younger than his adversary – had his say and may have edged rounds ten to 12 on sheer activity alone.

But, when the scorecards were revealed – 115-113, 115-113 and, astonishingly, 117-111 – Arslan’s trainer Dieter Witmann failed to hide his anger, branding it “the biggest scam I have ever seen” and a “disgrace”.

Arslan (32-6-2, 21ko) agreed: “I’ve never experienced anything like this decision. I’ve seldom landed so many clean punches and he only scuffed me,” the veteran southpaw and former 200lb titlist was quoted to have said by Eurosport. “How can such a thing happen? This kind of thing is ruining boxing.

“I landed so many punches. I think the whole crowd believes I’m the winner. I’ve been robbed of my win. I would have been the new world champion today, I would have written history.”

Huck, showing defiance in defeat, said: “I think I landed more punches.”

*

In Canada four hours later, former IBF super middleweight ruler Bute (31-1-0, 24ko) boxed his way to a unanimous decision victory over previously undefeated Grachev (12-1-1, 8ko) and, in so doing, kept his case for a contractual rematch with his only conqueror – Carl Froch – in tact for the new year.

While Grachev was an unbeaten fast-rising contender with a good-looking win over Ismayl Sillakh on his resume, he remained a 9-1 underdog heading into fisticuffs with hometown favourite Bute. However, when leather was traded on fight night, a more competitive bout than anticipated ensued. Bute controlled the fight when the southpaw fought from distance and scored well with his jab and uppercut, however, he showed a vulnerability when Grachev backed him up onto the ropes during the contest’s midway point.

The 118-110 score granted to Bute appeared generous, with the two scores of 116-112 and 115-113 more on point but, regardless of winning margin, Lucian was buoyant in victory. “I’m very happy with my performance against a very tough opponent,” he said, as reported by The Montreal Gazette. “I took some shots, but he was very aggressive. It was a good experience for me.”

The defeated party was aggrieved post-fight and claimed the judging to be “unfair”. Grachev said: “Maybe I lost three or four rounds.”

With the win, Bute added the NABF light heavyweight belt to his honours roll. He will now wait on the result of Froch’s fight with Yusaf Mack on November 17 to find out whether his shot at redemption will go ahead as planned.

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